The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the certification of the high density variant of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 on Wednesday. With a capacity for up to 197 passengers, the MAX-8200 aircraft will debut with the low cost airline Ryanair.
The 737 MAX 8-200 differs from the standard version by adding two extra emergency doors at the rear of the fuselage to meet evacuation criteria in the event of an accident.
“The aircraft incorporated all of the design improvements that were part of the 20-month review of the 737 Max, including those related to Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS),” said the U.S. agency.
Ryanair had ordered the first 737-8200 in 2014 and had several jets ready in 2019 when two accidents with the 737 MAX forced civil aviation agencies around the world to ground the model.
Despite this, the Dublin-based airline increased its bet on the aircraft, expanding its order from 135 to 210 units in December.
According to the company, the aircraft’s “performance is exceptional, as it delivers 8 more seats per flight, yet burns 16% less fuel, and lowers noise emissions by 40%.”
Ryanair expects to have 25 jets in 2021, eight of them in April, eight in May and nine more in June. The service debut is expected to take place over the summer if EASA, the European civil aviation authority, endorses FAA approval.