Ryanair Holdings Plc can begin taking delivery of the Boeing Co. 737 Max jet after European regulators signed off on a version of the single-aisle model that can squeeze in almost 200 passengers.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency issued a type certificate for the so-called Max 200 model, according to a notification Tuesday on its website. The action follows the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to approve the type last week.
Ryanair has said it expects to take delivery of its first Max 200 this month, becoming the first operator of the type. Europe’s biggest discount carrier has ordered 210 of the planes, which Ryanair plans to fit with 197 seats, just below a threshold that would require an extra flight attendant.
Boeing shares fell 1.6% to $255.26 at 2:34 p.m. in New York.
Boeing has already built 38 of the Max jets for Ryanair and its Buzz and Malta Air subsidiaries, according to Chris Edwards, a 737 production blogger. It’s the first new 737 model to enter the commercial market since regulators cleared the Max to resume flying after two fatal accidents killed 346 people.
The Dublin-based airline was a vocal backer of the Max through its near two-year grounding, calling it a “game-changer” that will cut costs per passenger and be more efficient and quieter than its existing fleet of 737-800 planes.
While mostly identical to the current Max 8, the model features an extra pair of exit doors and modified lavatories that required additional regulatory scrutiny. The regular Max 8 can seat 178 passengers in a two-class layout, which means the higher-density version used by Ryanair will have less legroom than some configurations used by other Max operators.
Boeing representatives couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.