Alaska Airlines Grounds Boeing 737-9s

Daniel Fowkes
06 Jan 2024
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
Alaska Airlines has announced the grounding of all Boeing 737-9s following a major incident occurred on one of its aircraft mid flight.

Following the events of Flight 1282, Alaska Airlines has temporarily grounded its fleet of 65 Boeing 737-9s from the MAX family.

A Temporary Grounding

As a precaution, Alaska Airlines’ groundings will occur until each aircraft can observe complete maintenance and related safety inspections.

Alaska Airlines expects these inspections to be completed in the next few days and will work diligently with Boeing and subsequent regulators to better understand what happened.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NTSB are investigating to determine what occurred, and the carrier intends to support these parties fully.

For Alaska Airlines, this grounding will significantly impact their operations across the following days, with flight cancellations across the board.

The 737-9s make up a significant part of their operation, and thus, the grounding will mean they’ll be unable to cater to the intense demand levels seen at the backend of the holiday period.

The Flight 1282 Incident

An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 on scheduled service between Portland, Oregon and Ontario, California, was forced to return to Portland following a substantial pressurisation issue.

This issue stemmed directly from the rear mid-cabin exit door separating from the aircraft shortly after departing from Portland in what is described as a blowout.

News of the incident first came to flight following posts across social media from those either onboard or those related to the passengers onboard.

Data indicates that the specific variant impacted was the Boeing 737-9 with a registration of N704AL. This aircraft was only delivered to Alaska Airlines a handful of months ago.

Boeing Cops Public Backlash

For Boeing and especially their 737 MAX, these developments that occurred on their 737-9 are what many would describe as the last thing they need.

The plane maker has copped a substantial amount of flack from onlookers who have attacked Alaska Airlines for their operation of a MAX that was proven unsafe once before.

There have been calls for more 737 MAXs to be grounded as well. However, relevant regulators need to be measured about the incident and better understand what took place before any rash decisions are made.

By grounding the 737-9s temporarily, Alaska Airlines shows its forward thinking and responding immediately to the incident while keeping its customers’ best interests in mind.

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