FAA Orders to Ground Boeing 737 MAX 9 Aircraft Globally After Alaska Airlines Incident

Boeing 737 MAX 9

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered the grounding of 171 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft worldwide. This decision came after a distressing incident involving an Alaska Airlines flight where a mid-aft door, window, and seat were lost during takeoff, leading to rapid decompression and an emergency landing at Portland International Airport (PDX). The FAA’s directive underscores the urgency and seriousness of the situation, mandating immediate inspections before these aircraft can resume flights.

FAA’s Statement

Alaska Airlines, the operator of the aircraft in question, took swift action by grounding its entire fleet of 65 Boeing 737 MAX 9 following the incident. CEO Ben Minicucci expressed the airline’s commitment to safety and assured that each aircraft would undergo full maintenance and safety inspections. The airline is in close communication with Boeing and regulators to understand the incident’s cause and to implement all necessary safety measures.

“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 full maintenance and safety inspections are completed. We anticipate all inspections will be completed in the next few days.”

Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci

Following the FAA’s grounding order, United Airlines also grounded its 737 MAX 9 aircraft, impacting approximately 60 flights nationwide. Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines, which operates a large fleet of 737s but not the MAX 9 variant, clarified that their operations were unaffected by the incident as their aircraft do not have the specific exit door plug involved in the Alaska Airlines event.

Boeing’s Saying

Boeing 737 MAX 9

Boeing has acknowledged the incident and the ensuing FAA order, with spokesperson Jessica Kowal expressing the company’s regret over the impact on customers and passengers. Boeing’s technical team is actively supporting the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation into the event, emphasizing safety as its top priority. The manufacturer remains in close contact with regulators and customers to address the situation and ensure aircraft safety.

“Safety is our top priority and we deeply regret the impact this event has had on our customers and their passengers. In addition, a Boeing technical team is supporting the NTSB’s investigation into last night’s event. We will remain in close contact with our regulator and customers.”

Boeing’s spokesperson, Jessica Kowal

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