The Boeing 737 MAX 8 has won U.S. Federal Aviation Administration certification for commercial operations, paving way for its first customer delivery in the coming months.
Boeing carried out a comprehensive flight test program using four aircraft spanning barely more than a year.
The LEAP-1B-powered Boeing 737 MAX began flight tests in January 2016 and the engine has performed exceptionally well in more than 2,200 aircraft flight hours.
FAA granted Boeing an Amended Type Certificate for the 737 MAX 8, verifying the design complies with required aviation regulations and is safe and reliable.
The 737 MAX 8 reduces fuel use and CO2 emissions by an additional 14 percent over today's most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes.
The Max 8 can seat up to 189 passengers in single class high density seating configuration and 162 in a two class layout. The Southwest Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle are the launch customers.
Boeing had rolled out the largest member of the family, the MAX 9 on Tuesday, and also announced its plans for a stretched MAX 10. The MAX 8 and 9 will be followed in 2019 by the smaller MAX 7 and higher capacity MAX 200.
The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.
The 737 MAX's major rival, the Airbus A320 neo had achieved its joint FAA and EASA certification in November 2015 and began commercial flight operations in January 2016.