Alaska Airlines will resume service of its 737 Max 9 fleet on Friday with a flight from Seattle to San Diego.
The carrier announced that it has completed final inspections on the first fleet of its 737 Max 9 aircraft so they can return to commercial service. Friday's flight will mark the first time the plug-door 737 Max 9 has returned to the skies since grounding across the country earlier this month.
The update comes two days after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a comprehensive inspection and maintenance process for all 171 Boeing Max 9 planes with plug doors.
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Alaska said its technicians began inspecting its planes following Wednesday's approval. It expects to complete inspections of all 65 of its 737 Max 9 aircraft by the end of next week, allowing it to operate a full flight schedule.
“Each of our 737-9 MAXs will return to service only after rigorous inspections are completed and each aircraft is deemed airworthy in accordance with FAA requirements,” Alaska said in a statement. “Individual surveys are expected to take up to 12 hours per flight.”
Alaska previously said it takes up to 12 hours to review each proposal.
The FAA immediately began grounding the plane after a 737 Max 9 operated by Alaska Airlines lost a door. Plug panel mid-plane Earlier this month in Portland, Oregon. Alaska and United, the two US carriers that fly the Max 9, were forced to cancel hundreds of flights in the long run.
United Fox Business said about 79 of its planes are scheduled to return to service on Sunday, although they may be used as spares before then.
|Alaska Air Group Inc.
|United Airlines Holdings Inc.
After each aircraft successfully completes the enhanced maintenance and inspection process, the FAA said, “the door plugs on the 737-9 MAX will conform to the original design that is safe to operate.”
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The FAA still exists Investigates Boeing Its manufacturing practices and production lines, including subcontractor Spirit Aero Systems.
The FAA enacted a series of actions to increase oversight of Boeing's production lines. It also clarified that the agency would not accept any requests from Boeing to expand production of the 737 Max or approve additional product lines “until it is satisfied that quality control issues that emerge during this process will be resolved.”
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“The quality assurance issues we've seen are unacceptable,” FAA Administrator Mike Whittaker said. “That's why we'll have more boots on the ground, closely scrutinizing and monitoring production and manufacturing operations.”