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U.S. FAA approves 737 MAX 8200 variant design

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WASHINGTON: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Wednesday it had approved the design of the Boeing 737-8200, which is part of the Boeing 737 MAX series, a necessary step before the US aircraft manufacturer can begin delivering the planes to Ryanair.

The FAA said the 737-8200 incorporates all of the design improvements that were part of the 20-month review of the 737 MAX that led to the MAX’s grounding in November, more than a year after two fatal accidents killed 346 people.

Ryanair first ordered the 737-8200 aircraft, which can accommodate 197 passengers, in 2014. The European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency has yet to approve the aircraft, a decision that could come soon after FAA approval.

Boeing said on Wednesday it “will continue to work with global regulators to safely return the 737-8 and -9 to service. Our teams are also working to ensure that future 737 family members meet all regulatory requirements “.

In December, Ryanair – Europe’s largest airline – announced it was placing a firm order for 75 additional 737 MAX 8200 aircraft, a higher passenger capacity version of the 737-8 MAX.

Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair Group, said last week that the airline expected to receive eight of the MAX jets in April, eight more in May and none in June.

Ryanair is the launch customer for the 737-8 variant after the carrier placed its first order for 100 aircraft and 100 options at the end of 2014, followed by firm orders for 10 aircraft in 2017 and 25 in 2018. Ryanair has not immediately commented on Wednesday evening.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese and Gerry Doyle)


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