Boeing Max 9 aircraft are once again operated by United Airlines and Alaska

After being grounded due to a panel blowing off of the side of one of their aircraft, Alaska Airlines has resumed flying Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliners.

The airline declared in a statement that it has finished the last examination of the planes in its group. They reported that on Friday afternoon, they started operating the Max 9 again, making a trip from Seattle to San Diego.

The Federal Aviation Administration gave its approval on Wednesday to the maintenance and inspection procedure needed to get the aircraft back in the air. That evening, Alaska Airlines stated, its technicians started inspecting the aircraft.

According to the airline, inspections should be finished by the end of next week, enabling it to run a full schedule of flights. For each aircraft, inspections could take up to 12 hours.

The airline said in a written statement on Friday that “Each of our 737-9 MAX will return to service only after the rigorous inspections are completed and each plane is deemed airworthy according to FAA requirements,”

On Saturday morning, the first United passenger flight on a Boeing MAX 9 since the Alaska Airlines jet’s panel blew out took off from Newark, New Jersey, for Las Vegas. Six staff members and 175 passengers were on board.

Stan Deal, the president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, stated in a message to staff members on Friday that assisting airlines in resuming operations is the company’s top priority.

He stated, “Our long-term focus is on improving our quality so that we can regain the confidence of our customers, our regulator and the flying public,” 

“Frankly, we have disappointed and let them down. We are deeply sorry for the significant disruption and frustration for our customers, some of whom have been publicly and unfairly criticized,” he continued.

The procedure that airlines need to take in order to examine and, if required, fix the door plug panels, one of which came free on Alaska Airlines flight 1282 on January 5, has been outlined by the Federal Aviation Administration.

When an exceptionally large number of seats necessitates more exits for safety reasons, the plugs are used to close the holes left for additional doors on the Max 9.

Following the explosion of one of the two door plugs in the rear portion of flight 1282’s cabin while the aircraft was 16,000 feet (approximately 4,900 meters) above Oregon, Alaska Airlines grounded all 65 of its Max 9 aircraft in a matter of hours. The day following the blowout, the FAA grounded every Max 9 in the United States, There were no major injuries to any of the passengers.

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