Alaska Airlines Initiates Initial Inspections for Approximately 20 Boeing 737-9 MAX Aircraft

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Alaska Airlines (ALK.N) announced Saturday that it began preliminary inspections of some Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft over the weekend and plans to inspect as many as 20 aircraft. In addition to the audit, the airline announced its intention to implement and strengthen its management control over the production of the Boeing 737-9 MAX. The airline also conducted a comprehensive review of Boeing’s (BA.N) quality and production management, including oversight of Boeing factories.

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Alaska Airlines announced that it held a week of open meetings with Boeing’s CEO and senior management team earlier this year to discuss quality improvement plans. The main goal of these efforts is to bring quality aircraft off the production line to Alaska. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated that Boeing must provide additional information and maintenance instructions necessary to safely return the 737-9 MAX to service before approving the proposal for review.

The FAA on Friday continued to ground Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft indefinitely to conduct additional safety inspections. Regulators also announced increased scrutiny of Boeing over incidents where cabin panels separated from new planes during flight. FAA plans to examine Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 production line and suppliers under tighter oversight. Additionally, it is considering transferring some of the safety certification of new planes to an independent agency, a role Boeing previously assigned to the FAA.