All Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft have been temporarily grounded following an incident overnight where an exit door separated in flight.
Incident: All Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9s Grounded Following Incident…
Alaska Airlines flight AS1282 is a routine scheduled flight between Portland and Ontario, with the affected rotation being operated by N704AL.
As per data from Planespotters.net, N704AL is a 0.2 year old Boeing 737 MAX 9 which was delivered brand new to the carrier back in October 2023.
Of the MAX 9 variant, the U.S carrier has 65 units in the fleet, with all of them being grounded following the overnight incident, hosting an average fleet age of 1.8 years.
Alaska Airlines flight AS1282 departed Portland at 1706 local time last night, inbound for Ontario.
Moments after departure, one of the exit doors towards the rear of the aircraft separated from the fuselage, causing a massive depressurisation event.
AS1282 was able to land safely after this happened, and the aircraft was subsequently grounded due to this.
Following this incident, Alaska Airlines released a statement saying that all 65 737 MAX 9 aircraft have been temporarily grounded:
Ben Minicucci, the CEO of the airline said the following on this:
“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”.
What Next For Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737 MAX 9s?
As Minicucci has mentioned, the next steps will be to perform maintenance checks on all of the Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9s and gradually return them to service.
All eyes will be on the NTSB investigation to see what exactly caused this separation of the exit door from the fuselage, causing this depressurisation event.
The airline has made major progress in updating passengers as well with what is going on, and has tried their hardest to reassure those flying as well.
This remains a developing story to see what will happen in the coming days ahead.
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