Boeing has received certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its 747-8 Intercontinental passenger aircraft, clearing the way for deliveries early next year.

Boeing said the certification confirms that the 467-seat 747-8 Intercontinental complies with all aviation regulatory requirements and its production system is capable of manufacturing a safe and reliable aircraft.

The FAA has presented Boeing with an Amended Type Certificate (ATC) and the amended Production Certificate for the 747-8 Intercontinental.

The 747-8 Intercontinental, featuring new General Electric GEnx-2B engines, features a redesigned wing, new alloys in the fuselage and a new interior, in addition to a new curved architecture that can carry 51 more passengers and 26% more cargo in the lower hold than the 747-400.

The new 747-8 Intercontinental aircraft features a 442t maximum take-off weight, a nose-to-tail length of 76.3m (250ft 2in) and a wingspan of 68.5m (224ft 7in).

The new aircraft provides double-digit improvements in fuel burn and carbon emissions per passenger and generates 30% less noise than the 747-400, according to Boeing.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Jim Albaugh said: "This is a great achievement for Boeing and for the 747-8 programme. We look forward to delivering this fabulous airplane to our customers."

Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice-president and general manager for the 747 programme Elizabeth Lund said: "Soon people around the world will fly on the newest 747. This is a great day for our customers and for a team that has worked incredibly hard to certify the newest version of the ‘Queen of the Skies’."