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Ryanair Rapid Response

It’s well known Ryanair operates in excess of 450 Boeing 737-800’s and has started accepting the next generation of the type, the 737 MAX 8 into it’s fleet, titled ‘737-8200’. The black-sheep of the family (or white swan) is the airlines single 737-700 (EI-SEV) which is used mostly for crew training and for the occasional charter. However Europe’s largest ‘low-cost’ airline operates a sub-fleet consisting of three Bombardier Learjet 45XR’s…………..

Image by GBR Aviation

The Learjet 45 was positioned third from the top in the model’s hierarchy, with Learjet 60 being the largest, now surpassed by Learjet 70/75, which is the only model in production and is essentially an improved and upgraded Learjet 45.

The first of the Ryanair trio was acquired as far back as January 2012, when M-ABEU arrived. The 2008 –built aircraft was re-registered on the Isle of Man register as are the other two and each retained their anonymous livery as the vast majority of biz-jets do. Using Call-Sign “Ryan 001”, M-ABEU was originally based at Stansted Airport, London.

Next to follow was M-ABGV in June 2014, another Learjet 45 this time built in 2011 and in December the following year M-ABJA arrived, it a 2012-built jet. So why does Ryanair have at its disposal three racy numbers? Why not…………

Image by Gavin

To keep a well-oiled machine performing at peak efficiency, glitches must be reduced to a minimum and any mechanical issues with aircraft distributed across its vast European network must be solved as quickly as possible avoiding delays and knock on effects. The solution was to strategically position several aircraft at the airlines bases, each capable of a rapid response to a fleet member “going tech”. Ryanair insists the Learjet’s are not used to pamper company executives but provide operational support. Who would begrudge senior management the use of the biz-jet fleet if an occasion arose, it’s not a state funded body.

The Learjet’s have used Dublin, London Stansted, Milan Bergamo and Barcelona El Prat as bases to operate from. Similar to the AA (Automobile Association) aircraft engineers are dispatched on board the swift Learjet 45 along with parts and tooling to a stricken B737-800 in the uncommon event when one is grounded. The Ryanair fleet is one of the youngest so mishaps are generally kept to a minimum. At times a second team of engineers and components are carried on board the 9 seater while it scrambles to its mission, in case while at its first destination a second call-out is required and Team Two can be whisked away to any other incident, leaving the first team on site to deal with repairs. A smooth operation.

Image by Peter

One doubts the interior of the Ryanair Learjet’s come close to displaying a hint of blue or yellow. Our money’s on browns, creams or beige featuring prominently within the cabin’s of these “Go-To” jets. With a maximum speed of 533 mph making up lost time is achievable and the ability to cruise at 51,000 ft, positioning oneself above congestion below, the Learjet 45 requires a disciplined flight deck crew to keep this racehorse of the sky in check.

Images by GBR Aviation (M-ABEU), Gavin (M-ABGV) & Peter (M-ABJA)


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