Ryanair is currently in talks with lessors, holding onto Thomas Cook aircraft, about taking several Airbus aircraft to be used by their Austrian subsidiary Lauda.

According to Flight Global, Ryanair plans to increase the size of Lauda’s fleet to competitively handle the 2020 summer schedule.

Chief Executive of Ryanair Group, Michael O’Leary, states the number of aircraft acquired would depend on pricing and their ability to hire and train/retrain pilots and cabin crew before the summer season.

Ryanair in Talks to Acquire Thomas Cook Airbus A320s

As airlines begin to accept greater amounts of Airbus A320neo aircraft, young A320s with the classic engine variants are becoming vastly available; with 8-10 year old examples being very competitively priced.

This has sparked the idea of adding second-hand aircraft to Lauda’s fleet to increase capacity and strengthen operations.

Lauda already operates a fleet of 21 Airbus A320-200s powered by a mixture of CFM International CFM56 engines and International Aero Engines V2500s, meaning aircraft acquisition isn’t tied to engine availability.

As well as the used aircraft plans, Ryanair is also holding discussions with Airbus and Boeing about potential aircraft orders beyond 2024; this is when their existing order backlog is set to close.

Ryanair in Talks to Acquire Thomas Cook Airbus A320s
Ryanair Boeing 737 MAX

However because Boeing is focussing on returning the 737 MAX to service and Airbus is battling their production capacity, pricing is not great.

Instead, O’Leary says he’ll be waiting for the next price cycle to enhance talks with both manufacturers.

Citing Flight Global, Ryanair, its UK division, its Polish subsidiary Buzz, and Malta Air have a combined total of 456 Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft in service.

Ryanair has orders for 135 Boeing 737 MAX 8s with purchase options for an additional 75 aircraft.