Washington – Alaska Airlines has successfully concluded final inspections on its initial group of 737-9 MAX aircraft, marking a pivotal step in returning the fleet to commercial service. Flight 1146 from Seattle to San Diego is scheduled to mark the resumption of 737-9 MAX operations on Friday afternoon, Jan 26.
FAA Approval and Inspection Process
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted approval for the detailed inspection and maintenance procedures necessary for the 737-9 MAX to resume flying. Alaska Airlines technicians commenced inspections promptly following the FAA’s authorization on Jan. 24. It is anticipated that all 737-9 MAX inspections will be finalized by the end of the upcoming week, allowing for the full restoration of flight schedules.
Rigorous Inspections Ensuring Airworthiness
Each 737-9 MAX aircraft undergoes thorough inspections to ensure compliance with FAA requirements before returning to service. The meticulous process, estimated to span up to 12 hours per aircraft, encompasses meticulous examination and verification of airworthiness criteria. Alaska Airlines remains deeply appreciative of its Maintenance and Engineering team for their dedication to safety and operational excellence.
Inspection Protocol: Door Plugs and Checklist
Alaska Airlines’ inspection protocol focuses on scrutinizing the door plugs of the 737-9 MAX aircraft. This includes comprehensive assessments of both left-hand and right mid-cabin door plugs, adhering to FAA-approved guidelines. The inspection checklist comprises several key steps:
- Confirmation of proper installation and measurement of clearances before opening the mid-cabin door plug
- Detailed examination of door and seal components for damages or abnormalities
- Re-securing and sealing each door plug in accordance with FAA directives
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Door Plug Inspections Frequency: Door plugs will be inspected at least every 24 months during heavy maintenance checks and immediately after delivery for new 737-9 MAX aircraft.
- Flexible Travel Policy: Guests uncomfortable with flying on a 737-9 MAX can request to be accommodated on an alternative flight.
- Identifying Aircraft Type: Guests can view the aircraft type in the “Details” tab while booking flights on alaskaair.com and in their reservation under “Flight Details.”
- Alaska’s 737-9 MAX Timeline: Alaska Airlines commenced its 737-9 MAX operations on March 1, 2021, with a flight from Seattle to Los Angeles.
- Seating Configuration: The 737-9 MAX accommodates 178 passengers, including 16 First Class seats, 24 Premium Class seats, and 138 seats in the main cabin.
Alaska Airlines remains committed to safety, transparency, and exceptional customer service as it reinstates its 737-9 MAX fleet into service.
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