New Ryanair 737 MAX 200 plane drops the ‘MAX’ from its name, goes with 737-8200 instead

boeing 737 max South Africa

A picture posted to Twitter on Sunday of a new Boeing 737 MAX suggests that the American plane manufacturer may be open to renaming its troubled plane after all.

Captured by planespotter Woodys Aeroimages at Boeing’s Seattle plant, the latest 737 MAX 200 plane produced for Irish airline Ryanair no longer has “737 MAX” on the side of its cockpit, but rather 737-8200.

The plane is still referrred to as the 737 MAX 200, denoting the larger version of the “8” aircraft. But it seems that either Ryanair or Boeing itself has made a decision to drop the “MAX” label from the aircraft.

Interestingly, removing the MAX label and simply using 737-8 also fits in with current Boeing trends of suffixing the single series number, like Boeing’s 747-8, or 787-9.

It’s not clear if there are more aircraft or airlines set to simplify the plane series’ name, nor if this was a decision made by Boeing, Ryanair, or both. Either way, it’s less likely a painter’s error, and more likely influenced by this particular plane series’ troubled history.

Two 737 MAX 8 crashes within six months, in Indonesia last year and Ethiopia earlier this year, killed a total of 346 people. Although the reason for the accidents have not yet been determined, Boeing believes that it’s MCAS safety system played a role in both.

As a result, all versions of Boeing’s 737 MAX planes have been grounded since March. South Africa’s lone 737 MAX 8 aircraft, owned by Comair, has also been grounded for more than four months.

Notably, the plane version involved in both was the smaller variant, the 737 MAX 8, not the slightly different 737 MAX 200 that Ryanair has on order. The largest low cost carrier in Europe has more than 100 of the 737 MAX 200 yet to be delivered.

It’s not yet clear when the Boeing 737 MAX fleet will be allowed to fly again, or if they’ll be using that name when that time comes.

Ryanair’s currently the largest global operator of the older Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Feature image: The Boeing 737 MAX 8, by Boeing

Andy Walker
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