Update: Alaska Temporarily Grounds Fleet of 65 Boeing 737 MAX 9 Aircraft

by Anthony Losanno
Alaska 1282

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Late last 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. Now, Alaska has decided to ground all 65 of this aircraft type (Boeing 737 MAX 9) in its fleet while it performs full inspections.

Alaska is taking the necessary precautions to inspect the rest of this aircraft type that makes up its fleet. This aircraft type essentially equals one third of Alaska’s entire fleet and the carrier will inspect each one. The Air Current is reporting that this is not the first time this particular plane had pressurization issues. On January 4th, the aircraft had a warning light appear while taxiing. The call was made to pull it from extended range operations (ETOPS), which means that it would not be flown overwater. Apparently, the same warning indicator also came on again later that day.

Ben Minucci, CEO of Alaska Airlines, released a statement. It reads:

At Alaska Airlines, safety is our foundational value and the most important thing we focus on every day. Following tonight’s event on Flight 1282, we have decided to take the precautionary step of temporarily grounding our fleet of 65 Boeing 737-9 aircraft. Each aircraft will be returned to service only after completion of full maintenance and safety inspections. We anticipate all inspections will be completed in the next few days.

I am personally committed to doing everything we can to conduct this review in a timely and transparent way.

We are working with Boeing and regulators to understand what occurred tonight, and will share updates as more information is available. The NTSB is investigating this event and we will fully support their investigation.

My heart goes out to those who were on this flight – I am so sorry for what you experienced. I am so grateful for the response of our pilots and flight attendants. We have teams on the ground in Portland assisting passengers and are working to support guests who are traveling in the days ahead.”

Those scheduled to travel on flights operated by Alaska’s Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft are being reaccommodated.

Anthony’s Take: As I said last night, it’s a miracle no one was seated in the impacted seat near the plugged emergency exit and that everyone returned safely. Hopefully, whatever happened here is identified and rectified for the rest of these aircraft.

(Featured Image Credit: KTVL.)

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1 comment

Steve January 6, 2024 - 11:13 am

Enjoy having all your plans destroyed!


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