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FAA Approves High-Capacity 737 MAX Variant

April 3, 2021
The Boeing 737 MAX 8200 will seat 200 passengers in a single-class arrangement, making it the most efficient narrow-body commercial aircraft -- but it still needs EASA’s clearance.

The Federal Aviation Administration approved a design variant for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, called the MAX 8200, and able to seat up to 200 passengers in a single-class. The European Air Safety Agency has yet to approve the design, which will be necessary for Ryanair to take delivery of the 75 new aircraft it has ordered.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said recently that the airline expects the first deliveries this month.

The Dublin-based budget airline is one of the world’s largest operators of the 737-800 (the preceding design of the current model) and has ordered 210 the 737 MAX 8200 variants, though the deliveries have been delayed by the protracted grounding of the 737 MAX series, from March 2019 through December 2020.

FAA’s approval for the 737 MAX 8200 incorporates the flight control software and electronics revisions that were determined necessary after the second of two crashes that resulted in the grounding.

Boeing currently offers three versions of the 737 MAX: 737 MAX 8, MAX 9, and MAX 10. A new version, the 737 MAX 7 has been ordered by Southwest Airlines, with 140- to 150-seat capacity.

The modified MAX-8 will have “slimline” seats and two more exit doors. According to Boeing, the MAX 8200 will be the most efficient narrow-body commercial aircraft, 5% more efficient that the 737 MAX 8.