Alaska Airlines midair window blowout: Here’s all you need to know about the Boeing 737 Max 9 plane

Alaska Airlines grounds all Boeing 737-9 aircraft after emergency landing due to blown out window.

Livemint
Updated6 Jan 2024
Alaska Airlines grounded all its  Boeing 737 Max 9 planes after one of its   flights suffered a major damage with midair window blowout on Friday
Alaska Airlines grounded all its Boeing 737 Max 9 planes after one of its flights suffered a major damage with midair window blowout on Friday(Bloomberg)

Alaska Airlines grounded all of its Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft late Friday after a window and a portion of the plane's fuselage blew out shortly after take-off in Portland, Oregon, US.

After the mid-air window blowout, the airline made an emergency landing in Portland, Oregon. Luckily, no one was hurt during the incident. The airline company announced to temporarily ground all of its planes for thorough maintenance and safety inspections.

Also Read: DGCA orders one-time inspection of emergency exits on all Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft

This is not the first time when Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft have been grounded by an airline for safety concerns. The narrow-body airplane has often landed Boeing in trouble even in the past. In 2018 and 2019, two Boeing 737 Max 8 jets crashed killing 346 people. The accidents resulted in a nearly two-year worldwide grounding of all Max 8 and Max 9 planes. Boeing managed to bring back its planes to service only after making changes to an automated flight control system implicated in the crashes. Despite, all these difficulties, the Boeing 737 Max continues to be one of the most successful aeroplane series of the company. Here’s all you need to know about the aircraft.

Also Read: Polar bear dies from bird flu in Alaska as H5N1 virus spreads across globe

Boeing 737 Max 9

Boeing 737 Max 9 is one of the variants of Boeing 737 Max. The aircraft is based on the early designs of the 737 and is more efficient than its predecessors. Its four variants vary based on seating capacity, size, and length. Boeing 737 Max 9 has a seating capacity of178 – 193 with a seating capacity of 220 seats. It is 42.16 metre long with a wing span of 35.9 m, which is the same in all the variants.

Also Read: 90% of air passengers allege compromised comfort, cost-cutting by Indian airlines over last 2 years, says survey

Boeing 737 Max is manufactured in four variants based on their size and seating capacity.

Boeing 737 Max: When it was launched?

The Boeing 737 Max series was announced in August 2011. Five years later, the company's first Boeing 737 Max aeroplane took its maiden flight on January 29, 2016, and was certified by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in March 2017. The first delivery of Max 8 was done in May 2017 to Malindo Air, which marked the commencement of Boeing 737 Max service.

Also Read: Aviation industry aims for growth with sharp focus on supply in 2024

Boeing 737 Max: Features

The aeroplane provides an optimised aerodynamic design which includes advanced technology winglets to increase effective wingspan. This technology also helps in the reduction of fuel use and emissions. Its flight deck features four large displays to enable additional operational capability, including a larger map that increases crews’ situational awareness.

Also Read: Delhi-bound Indigo flight returns to Patna airport due to technical snag

Boeing 737 Max: Orders and deliveries

According to Boeing's official website, the company received a total of 1383 orders for Boeing 737 Max between 2022-23. Till now, the company has received a total of 7,502 orders for 737 Max (including all four variants of the plane). In 2023, the aeroplane manufacturer delivered a total of 343 737 Max aircraft (including all four variants), out of which three were delivered to India's Air India airlines.

Do Indian airlines operate Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft?

At present none of the Indian airlines operate a Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft as part of their fleet, according to a press release issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Saturday. In its release, the DGCA ordered all the Indian airlines to immediately carry out a one-time inspection of the emergency exits on all Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft currently operating as part of their fleet.

"Pursuant to the Alaska Airlines incident involving Boeing 737-9 Max aircraft, there have been no inputs or guidance from Boeing so far. None of the Indian air operators have a Boeing 737-9 Max as part of their fleet yet. However, as an abundant precautionary measure, DGCA has directed all the Indian air operators to carry out a one-time inspection of the emergency exits immediately on all Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft currently operating as part of their fleet," DGCA said in a post on X.

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