The FAA Temporarily Grounds All Boeing 737 MAX 9 Aircraft

by Anthony Losanno
Alaska 1282

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Friday night, I wrote about Alaska Airlines AS1282. The flight from Portland International Airport (PDX) to Ontario International Airport (ONT) was forced to return shortly after takeoff when part of its fuselage (a plugged emergency exit) separated. Alaska decided to ground all 65 of this aircraft type (Boeing 737 MAX 9) in its fleet while it performed inspections yesterday and was starting to clear its planes when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that all Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft were to be grounded.

This directive will see 171 aircraft grounded worldwide and required inspections will take four to eight hours per aircraft.

As a result, Alaska has cancelled 160 flights yesterday and 163 flights for today (around 21% of what was scheduled).

Other airlines are also complying and have released their own statements around the incident and what they’re doing. United Airlines cancelled 200 flights (around 7% of its schedule today).

Copa Airlines is also suspending its use of the 21 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft in its fleet.

Other airlines including AeroMexico and Turkish Airlines have pulled the aircraft from service until they are fully inspected. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has formally adopted the FAA directive, but it does not think any airlines in EASA member states are affected. If your flight is impacted due to these groundings, the airlines are offering flexible changes and rebookings.

Anthony’s Take: I’m happy to see this situation being addressed and still find it miraculous that no one was injured on the Alaska Airlines flight. Hopefully, this was a one-off issue and the future impact will be minimal for these carriers and passengers.

(Featured Image Credit: KTVL.)

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