The Boeing 737 MAX 9 has received an amended type certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration. Regulatory clearance for the second 737 MAX variant followed the conclusion of a test programme, which began in March 2017 and involved two flight test aircraft, N7379E (c/n 42987) and N739EX (c/n 42989), validating handling, systems and performance.
Boeing is now preparing to deliver the first customer aircraft, for the Lion Air Group, one of the 737 MAX family’s key customers with orders for 201 examples of the family in all. The 737 MAX 9 is designed for up to 220 passengers and has 3,550 nautical miles (6,574km) range. It has three additional seat rows from the baseline 737 MAX 8 and is designed to enable operators to add capacity to their short-haul network.
Boeing figures show it had sold 104 737 MAX 9s by mid-March. Besides Lion Air, future operators will include United Airlines (35), Air Canada (12), Turkish Airlines (ten) and Primera Air (eight). Lessors Avolon and Aviation Capital Group have each ordered ten. In comparison, Boeing has sold more than 2,200 737 MAX 8s and the higher-capacity 737 MAX 10 launched last year has already secured more sales than the 737 MAX 9, with 354 sold by March.