As most people know, a recent Alaska Airlines flight departing Portland (PDX) suffered a decompression event when the plug door at seat 27A blew out shortly after takeoff. This has resulted in the FAA grounding all Boeing 737 MAX9 aircraft until further notice. Alaska Airlines has canceled over 100 flights daily while waiting for the FAA to finalize inspection plans and an ultimate return to service of these aircraft. If you missed my series on the 737 MAX9 plug door failure, you can read it here.
Alaska Airlines has 65 MAX 9 aircraft in its fleet and United Airlines currently has 79 aircraft which are all grounded. The MAX9 aircraft at Alaska fly about 20% of their daily flight schedule. Here is a look at the number of flights cancelled today by both airlines, primarily due to the MAX 9 groundings:
I do wholeheartedly agree with Ben Minicucci that the pilots of Alaska 1282 did a great job. In the face of a decompression event, they did follow the three aspects of flying
- Navigate and
with a high degree of professionalism and was able to return to land at PDX in less than 20 minutes. There were no serious injuries.
Alaska Airlines 737 MAX9 Update
Alaska Airlines just released a video by CEO Ben Minicucci where he talks about the present situation with the MAX9 ground and what the airline is doing during the nationwide grounding. Here is his message:
If you read my series on this subject, you will see that there is a substantial quality of build issue at either Boeing, Spirit Aerosystems which builds the fuselage or another source. This situation is still under investigation by both the NTSB and FAA. The FAA will not rush the aircraft back into service until they are confident that they are confident that the 737 MAX9 can fly safely.
Until then, both Alaska and United Airlines will continue to cancel flights daily while these aircraft are out of service. My series on the 737 MAX9 plug door issues will continue tomorrow.