Boeing’s First High Capacity 200 Seat 737 Completes First Test Flight

Boeing has been quietly working away at a new aircraft, the B737-8-200. A 200 seater B737 has been specifically designed to be delivered to Ryanair. The aircraft has additional emergency exit doors in the mid-fuselage to allow the higher passenger numbers. Back when Ryanair originally ordered the aircraft in 2014, it ordered 100 of the model. The aircraft will allow the low-cost carrier to carry even more passengers throughout Europe. Now, it has been reported that the aircraft underwent its first flight on January 13th from Boeing’s Renton plant.

The 200 seater B737 will have an additional exit on each side. Photo: Ryanair

20% More Fuel Efficiency

According to Boeing, the new B737 MAX 200 will give Ryanair 20% more fuel efficiency per seat than the most efficient single-aisle aircraft. The aircraft has been specifically designed to cope with the high paced increase in demand in the low-cost market. Boeing estimates that by 2033 the B737 MAX 200 will account for 35% of single-aisle aircraft capacity. The Aircraft is based on the B737 MAX 8 Airframe, which is itself designed to accommodate around 162–178 according to Boeing. The American manufacturer also states that the Ryanair B737 MAX 200 will seat up to 210 passengers.

Ryanair B737 Max
A mockup of the B737-8-200 Interior. Photo: Ryanair

135 Firm Orders

Back in 2014, Ryanair placed 100 firm orders with options for another 100 of the aircraft. As of November, Ryanair had taken advantage of 35 of these options, bringing the total number of firm orders to 135. The list price of the 100 firm orders was $11bn at the time. Boeing’s Commercial Airplane’s CEO told a 2014 press release “The new variant will play a significant role in enabling the airline to continue to expand its operations, while providing passengers across Europe with outstanding value. For everyone at Boeing, it is an honor to launch the 737 MAX 200 with Ryanair, one of the world’s most successful all-Boeing operators.” Before adding: “The 737 MAX 200 is the perfect fit for Ryanair, providing improved efficiencies, 20 percent lower emissions, increased revenues and a high level of passenger comfort.”

B737-8-200 First Flight
Ryanair has firm orders for 135 B737-8-200 Aircraft. Photo: Ryanair

Gamechanger Aircraft

Back when the order was placed Michael O’Leary, Ryanair CEO, said that the B737-8-200 would be a gamechanger for Ryanair which will lead to lower airfares while creating 3,000 pilot jobs. He told Boeing “Ryanair is proud and honored to become the lead operator of Boeing’s ‘gamechanger’ 737 MAX 200, which will expand our fleet to 520 aircraft by 2024 and create another 3,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers in Europe, while allowing us to grow traffic from 82 million last year to over 150 million annually by 2024.”

Would you fly on Ryanair’s 200 seater B737? Let us know in the comments down below!