Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737 MAX9 Restarts Trip Following Mid-Air Door Malfunction

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Boeing 737 MAX 9 Flights Resume in Alaska Airlines

A development from Reader Wall’s news desk reveals that as of Friday, Alaska Airlines started resuming flights on their Boeing 737 MAX 9 fleet. This move occurred three weeks following an unexpected mid-air panel blowout that necessitated an emergency landing. Consequently, there were extensive aircraft inspections, the airline informed.

First Trip Post-Inspections

The first post-inspection trip was overseen on flight 1146, departing from Seattle to San Diego. The flight, which was 90 minutes delayed from the initial 2:20 pm scheduled take-off, arrived in California at 6.14 pm.

FAA’s Maintenance and Inspection Program

Reader Wall learns that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) just unveiled a maintenance and inspection programme this Wednesday. This essentially clears the MAX 9 for service resumption. Alaska Airlines anticipates that by the close of the next week, inspections on their 65 MAX 9 aircraft fleet will be finished, paving the way for normal service resumption.

The company voices its diligence over safety protocols by stating, “Our fleet of 737-9 MAX will only re-enter service after rigorous inspections, satisfying airworthiness per FAA requirements.” The firm expects that individual aircraft inspections could stretch up to 12 hours.

FAA Grounding Order

Worthy of note is that after the mid-air door plug blowout on January 5th, the FAA grounded a total of 171 MAX 9 planes that shared similar configurations with the incident plane. Although the incident had no severe injuries, inspectors regard the incident as potentially catastrophic.

The ground order subsequently led to 3,000 Alaska Airlines flights being cancelled in January. The company projects a $150 million loss due to the ground order.

Other Airline’s Fleet

United Airlines, possessing the largest fleet of affected Boeing models by the ground order, mentioned on Thursday that a return flight was planned for Sunday, without ruling out the possibility of resuming service earlier.

Investigation by NTSB

The US Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), with a mandate of determining the cause of the January 5 incident, disclosed to Reader Wall that an investigator is planned to return to Boeing’s Renton plant in Washington state the same day.

The team of dedicated investigators will work to establish a comprehensive timeline, stretching from the production stages through to the in-flight accident. The agency plans to release a report on the investigations next week.

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