The Boeing 737 MAX 8, the first variant of the re-engined 737 exclusively powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines, has gained FAA certification.

After a more than year-long flight test program with four aircraft, FAA has verified “the design complies with required aviation regulations and is safe and reliable,” Boeing said.

The 737 MAX 8 is expected to enter service this summer with Norwegian Air Shuttle. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, which placed the launch order for the 737 MAX, is expected to put its first MAX 8 into service Oct. 1.

Certification of the MAX 8 comes two days after the next re-engined 737 variant, the MAX 9, rolled out.

Boeing has secured more than 3,600 737 MAX family aircraft orders from 83 customers.

Airbus’s re-engined narrowbody, the A320neo, has been in service since January 2016.

Aaron Karp aaron.karp@penton.com