FAA certification on March 31 and EASA approval on April 6 of the high-density version of the Boeing MAX 8-200 on March 31 is a first but important step to get the type into service with Ryanair, so far its sole customer.
The Irish low-cost and its subsidiaries Malta Air and Buzz Air have a combined order for 210 MAX 8200s, as the type is known for short. This includes the 75 which were announced on December 3. The version was first ordered back in 2014 but has failed to attract any interest from airlines except Ryanair. According to the FAA, the 8200 incorporates all the requested design improvements that were part of the twenty-month MAX-review, the agency told TheAirCurrent and Reuters.
While the airline intends to operate the type with 197 passengers with a total of six main doors and four overwing exits, FAA type certificate data sheets show different cabin configurations. In a two-door configuration with Mid-Cabin Emergency Doors (MED) deactivated, the 8200 can seat a maximum of 189 passengers which is the arrangement on the standard MAX 8.
With a three-door arrangement (per side) and MED activated as Type III exit doors, plus an attendant station, there is space for 210 occupants. This becomes 212 when the MED is rated as a Type II exit. The EASA type validation document mentions 189, 202, and 202 seats respectively. Both regulators state that in practice, the two 212/202 variants will be limited to 207 seats due to the environmental control system ventilation rate per occupancy. On the longer MAX 9, the maximum occupancy rate for the three-door options is 189, 215, and 220 passengers respectively.
Maximum take-off weights of the 8200 are identical to the basic MAX 8, at 181.200 lbs. The maximum landing weight is 152.800 lbs, maximum zero fuel weight 145.400 lbs. The variant has a modified mechanical brake control system with an antiskid autobrake control unit, while the data sheets also show differences with the pitot probes and elevator feel probes of the air data system and Traffic Collision Avoiding System (TCAS) and VHF antennas.
Ryanair said last month it was hoping for a swift certification by EASA, so it can take delivery of the first 8200s later in April. Type validation happened on April 6. A number of aircraft in the liveries of the three airline subsidiaries have been spotted in Everett, with the first in Malta Air livery rolling out of the paint shop last week.