Boeing have 30 ex TWA 717's to find a new home for, and pronto. If not the new and second hand values of the fleet will drop, bringing the entire production line into doubt.
The 717-200 in a high density layout has a capacity of 129. Ryanair has configured their 737-200 in a high density capacity of 130. They have 21 737-200's in their fleet at present.
Ryanair always is looking for the deal of the century, especially one that allows them to reduce variable costs. Boeing are desperate to find a new large volume 717 operator.
The 717 has also the perfect range capabilities for FR, with the longest 732 operation being approx two hours in length.
Air Tran has prooven the viability of the 717 in low cost operations.
Ryanair already operates a twin fleet operation, and is looking at bringing on a third variance, the 737-300.
The 30 717's are available NOW, enabling Ryanair to rapidly replace the 732.
In Short, Ryanair always look for a deal. How desperate are boeing to keep the 717 production line in operation?
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!