Boeing 737 MAX 9 Grounding: A Timeline of Today’s Events

Boeing 737 MAX 9 Grounding: A Timeline of Today's Events
Photo Credit: Boeing.

It has been quite the day today, with the temporary grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX 9. We have put together a timeline of today’s events for you to catch up on in case you missed it.

Without further ado, let’s get into this, which is accurate as of 1930 UK time on January 6 – Further developments could come after this time…

The Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 Incident…


Boeing 737 MAX 9 Grounding: A Timeline of Today's Events
Photo sourced from @FL360aero on X!

The beginning of the chain of events came from Alaska Airlines flight AS1282, where a exit door that is not used on the aircraft separated from the aircraft in flight.

ADS-B data suggests this incident happened at around 18,000 feet as the Boeing 737 MAX 9 was climbing out of Portland Airport on the West Coast.

AS1282 was able to land safely after this happened, and the aircraft was subsequently grounded due to this.

What transpired next in the early hours of the morning UK time and throughout the day came a series of events.

Airline Grounds The Fleet As A Precaution…


Boeing 737 MAX 9 Grounding: A Timeline of Today's Events

Following this incident, Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci released a statement, confirming the temporary grounding of their entire 737 MAX 9 fleet:

“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 MAX 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”.

flydubai Confirms to AviationSource Their MAX 9s Are in The Clear…


Boeing 737 MAX 9 Grounding: A Timeline of Today's Events
Photo Credit: flydubai.

Upon this news, AviationSource approached all operators of the 737 MAX 9, which are as follows:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Tanzania
  • Copa Airlines
  • Corendon Dutch Airlines
  • flydubai
  • Icelandair
  • Lion Air
  • SCAT Airlines
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines

Of this list, only flydubai and United Airlines responded to calls from us, of which the United side you will see later on in this article.

In a statement, flydubai stated that their MAX 9s are in the clear so far due to the configuration setup:

“We are aware of the latest reports. The three Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft in our fleet, which have completed their C-checks in the last 24 months, have a different configuration with mid-aft cabin exits.”

“We will follow any guidance issued by Boeing once more information is available including carrying any further inspections if required.”

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FAA Orders Temporary Grounding of 171 Aircraft…


Boeing 737 MAX 9 Grounding: A Timeline of Today's Events
Photo Credit: Boeing.

Not long after that, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the temporary grounding of 171 737 MAX 9 aircraft, with them saying the following in a statement:

“The FAA will order the temporary grounding of certain Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft operated by U.S airlines or in U.S territory”.

“The Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) that will be issued shortly will require operators to inspect aircraft before further flight that do not meet the inspection cycles specified in the EAD”.

“The required inspections will take around four to eight hours per aircraft. The EAD will affect approximately 171 airplanes worldwide”.

Boeing Agrees With The Temporary Grounding of the 737 MAX 9…


Boeing 737 MAX 9 Grounding: A Timeline of Today's Events
Photo Credit: Boeing.

As soon as the FAA announced the grounding, Boeing took to centre stage via a prepared statement of their own, agreeing with the decision made:

“Safety is our top priority and we deeply regret the impact this event has had on our customers and their passengers.”

“We agree with and fully support the FAA’s decision to require immediate inspections of 737-9 airplanes with the same configuration as the affected airplane.”

“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.”

United Airlines Cancels Up to 60 Flights So Far…


Konstantin von Wedelstaedt (GFDL 1.2 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html or GFDL 1.2 http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html), via Wikimedia Commons

United Airlines, another major operator of the Boeing 737 MAX 9 in the U.S, then released a statement with some information about how the grounding has affected them:

“United has temporarily suspended service on select Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft to conduct an inspection required by the FAA. We are working directly with impacted customers to find them alternative travel options.”

United has 79 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft, including about 33 that have already received the necessary inspection that is required by the FAA.  

Removing certain MAX 9 aircraft from service is expected to cause about 60 cancellations today. It appears as if not all of the units of the variant are affected at United Airlines.

Overall…


Photo Credit: Boeing.

It has been quite the day for the Boeing 737 MAX 9 today. From the Alaska Airlines incident turning into a full-blown chain of events which has included a temporary ground stop, this is not what the American planemaker will be needing right now.

All eyes will of course be on how the rest of this evening goes, as well as into tomorrow and the next few days after that, to see what the preliminary causes are and whether they can be rectified quickly to prevent the disruption as much as possible.

Such events will no doubt hamper Boeing’s efforts to get it’s smaller 737 MAX 7 variant an exemption for an engine anti-ice system defect which in turn could have catastrophic consequences if that was to go wrong as well.

It’s been an interesting 12-24 hours, that’s for sure.

Did you know AviationSource has two newsletters? One covers the general news and analysis of the industry as a whole, and the other to do with emergencies that take place throughout the year! To subscribe to our General News Newsletter, CLICK HERE!
To subscribe to our Emergencies, Accidents & Incidents Newsletter, CLICK HERE!

Click the photo to join our WhatsApp channel so then you can stay up to date with everything going on in the aviation industry!

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