Alaska Airlines has resumed service for the first time since the plane was grounded after a panel was blown off the side of one of its Boeing 737 Max 9 jets.
The airline said in a statement that it had completed the final inspection of its group’s aircraft. They said they resumed flying Max 9s on Friday afternoon flights from Seattle to San Diego.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday approved the inspection and maintenance process for the aircraft to resume flying. Alaska Airlines technicians began the inspection that night, the airline said.
The airline said it expects inspections to be completed by the end of next week and the airline will be able to operate its full schedule. The inspection is expected to take up to 12 hours per aircraft.
“Our 737-9 Max fleet will only return to service after rigorous inspections have been completed and each aircraft is deemed fit to fly in accordance with FAA requirements,” Alaska Airlines said in a written statement Friday. Ta.
Alaska Airlines and United Airlines are the only two U.S. airlines operating this particular model of Boeing 737.
United Airlines announced on Saturday that it has begun operating the Boeing Max 9 jetliner. The first was United Flight 1525 from Newark to Las Vegas, which departed at 10:30 a.m. local time with 175 passengers and six crew members on board, the airline confirmed in an email. The airline said on Saturday that other passenger flights on Boeing Max 9 aircraft are also planned.
The FAA details the process airlines must follow to inspect and, if necessary, repair the panels, one of which came loose on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on January 5. did.
This plug is used to cover the holes left for additional doors on the Max 9 when the number of seats is unusually high and more exits are required for safety reasons.
Alaska Airlines grounded all 65 of its Max 9 jets within hours after Flight 1282 blew one of the two door plugs in the rear half of the cabin about 15,000 feet over Oregon. . The FAA grounded all Max 9s in the United States the day after the explosion.
No passengers were seriously injured.