Ryanair says it does not expect to take delivery of its first B737 Max 200 aircraft until “March/April 2020 at the earliest”.

All Boeing Max aircraft have been grounded worldwide since March of this year, following two fatal crashes involving the jets.

In July Ryanair said it expected to receive 30 of the B737 Max 200 variant by summer 2020, but this has now been revised down to just 20.

The carrier had originally expected to take delivery of 58 of the aircraft by next summer, and said in its half year profit statement that the shortfall in B737 Max deliveries means it has cut its summer 2020 growth rate from 7 per cent to just 3 per cent.

Ryanair has over 100 B737 Max 200 aircraft on order, which will have 197 Zodiac seats on board.

“We remain confident that these “gamechanger” aircraft (which have 4 per cent more seats, but burn 16 per cent less fuel) when delivered will transform our cost base and our business for the next decade,” said the airline. “Due to these delivery delays, we will not see any of these expected cost savings delivered until FY21.”

The news comes as Ryanair Holdings PLC reported net profits of €1.15 billion for the first half of the year, unchanged from the same period last year.

Traffic grew by 11 per cent over the period, with revenue per guest up 1 per cent, due larger to a 16 per cent rise in ancillary revenues.

The group has revised its full year guidance to a new range of between €800 and €900 million PAT (profit after tax), although it warned that the guidance was “heavily dependent on close in H2 fares, Brexit and the absence of any security events”.

In other news:

– Ryanair has launched a new Environmental Policy, with commitments to becoming plastic free within five years, cutting noise emissions by up to 40 per cent per seat, and cutting CO2 emissions by a further 10 per cent by 2030.

It said it would also encourage customers to use it voluntary carbon offset programme. More information on the carrier’s Environmental Policy can be found at ryanair.com/environment.

– The airline has also launched six new routes from London Southend airport for next summer, with brand new services to Bergerac, Girona and Marseille, and new summer routes to Bucharest, Venice Treviso and Vilnius.

Commenting on the news Ryanair’s Alejandra Ruiz said:

“Since the start of our operations in London Southend in April, we have carried more than 650,000 customers, and based on this success to date we are delighted to extend our services at Southend with six new routes for summer 2020.

“Our London Southend summer 2020 schedule features 16 routes in total, which will deliver 850,000 customers per annum and support 635 jobs in London Southend Airport next year.”