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UPDATE 1-Ryanair's first 737 MAX delivery weeks away after new delays

(Adds background, O’Leary quote on delay)

DUBLIN, April 22 (Reuters) - Boeing’s first 737 MAX delivery to Ryanair remains weeks away, the Irish airline said on Thursday, a month after forecasting that it would take delivery of eight of the aircraft before the end of April.

Boeing’s largest European customer for the jet has been waiting two years for its first delivery owing to the grounding of the aircraft after two fatal crashes.

In March it cut its forecast for MAX deliveries in time for the 2021 summer season from 24 to 16, saying it would take eight in April and eight in May and was not planning to take any during the peak summer months from June onwards.

But the chief executive of Ryanair DAC, the Ryanair Group’s main airline, on Wednesday indicated that it might not take delivery of any of the jets before the end of April.

“We are hoping it’s going to be in the next number of weeks. Probably in the next two weeks,” Eddie Wilson told the online World Aviation Festival.

Group Chief Executive Michael O’Leary on Wednesday said the airline had a technical team waiting in Seattle but that Boeing had not delivered.

“We are hoping to (take delivery of the MAX) but Boeing still haven’t managed to deliver one yet,” O’Leary told the Financial Times. “On a daily basis we have a team out in Seattle waiting for delivery of the first aircraft.”

O’Leary said on April that the first of 210 MAX jets Ryanair has on order would be delivered within days.

Reporting by Conor Humphries Editing by David Goodman

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