Boeing aircraft cleared for flight following mid-air incident

Following inspections, the US aviation regulator said it will permit Boeing’s 737 Max 9 aircraft to resume operations. 171 of the aircraft were grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) when an unusable door fell off in midair. In the upcoming days, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines intend to begin bringing the aircraft back into operation. However, the FAA says that it will not yet permit Boeing to increase the number of aircraft in its best-selling narrow body family—the 737 Max 9 among them. Boeing “won’t be going back to business as usual,” according to a statement from FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker.

“We will not agree to any request from Boeing for an expansion in production or approve additional production lines for the 737 Max until we are satisfied that the quality control issues uncovered during this process are resolved,” he stated. Alaska Airlines stated that it plans “to bring our first few planes back into scheduled commercial service on Friday” and that when inspections are finished, more aircraft would be reintroduced daily. United Airlines announced that it has been given final clearance by the FAA to finish bringing its 79-seat 737 Max 9 fleet back into service.

Toby Enqvist, the company’s chief operations officer, stated that the airline was getting ready to resume operating the aircraft on January 28. Shortly after takeoff on January 5, an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9’s door plug blew off, frightening the passengers and necessitating an emergency return to the Portland, Oregon airport. The 737 Max 9’s grounding, which has severely disrupted operations, has irritated the executives of United Airlines and Alaska Airlines, respectively. Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci stated there was “no doubt” that the aircraft “came off the production line with a faulty door” in an interview with NBC News.

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