The agreement is worth $15.6 billion at list prices and represents the largest order ever from a European airline, according to Ryanair. The airline's fleet will grow to more than 400 planes when the last plane is delivered. About 75 of the new planes will replace existing aircraft in Ryanair's fleet of 305 Boeing 737s. Ryanair shareholders must approve the Boeing purchase.
Ryanair says the new airplanes will allow the low-cost airline to create more than 3,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew, and engineers, while helping it grow at around 5% annually over the next several years. Ryanair's goal is to have more than 100 million passengers by March 2019.
"These 175 new airplanes will enable us to lower cost and airfares even further, thereby widening Ryanair's cost and price leadership over other airlines in Europe," said Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary in a statement.
Ray Conner, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, was quoted as saying, "This agreement is an amazing testament to the value that the Next-Generation 737 brings to Ryanair."