Low-cost carrier Ryanair will massively update its aviation portfolio with the addition of 200-400 new planes sometime after 2014, according to chief operating officer Michael O’Leary.

Speaking to journalists, the owner of Europe’s biggest budget airline confirmed that forward bookings for the company are strong and it wholly intends on keeping its promise to double the airline’s capacity by 2016.

To do so however, the airline will need hundreds of extra planes if it is ever to satisfy that 150 million passenger commitment.

“At some time in the next four or five years we will have a large order to make … the working assumption would be between 200 and 400 aircraft,” O’Leary said, reuters.com reports.

“We have resigned ourselves to the fact that there probably won’t be any new aircraft orders in 2012 or ’13 or ’14. We’ll wait for the next downturn in the cycle,” he said.

Plane finder fans could be treated to a wider-range of aircraft to track in Ryanair’s fleet come the time of purchasing. While the carrier has previously only invested in Boeing jets, O’Leary said there’s scope to partner with other manufacturers in future.

The news comes as Ryanair appears to be diversifying its business into other forms of revenue. Wsj.com reports that the company has just launched RyanairHotels.com, a budget accommodation service, echoing ventures similar to that of the ‘Easy’-brand.


Ryan Air aircraft tail
Photo by John Vause

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