loose bolts found on Max 9 planes

Alaska Airlines Discovered Loose Bolts on “Many” of Its Boeing 737 Max 9 Planes

Alaska Airlines CEO announced that their in-house inspection discovered “many” of their Boeing 737 Max 9 planes have loose bolts. 

NBC News senior correspondent Tom Costello interviewed Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci to discuss the airline’s findings since the company launched an investigation on the January 5 incident involving a panel of the Boeing 737 Max 9 that blew out midair. 

He said, “I’m more than frustrated and disappointed.” He added, “I am angry. This happened to Alaska Airlines. It happened to our guests and happened to our people.” 

Max 9 Planes Grounded

After the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered airlines to ground all Boeing Max 9 planes. At the same time, while the agency launched an investigation, the FAA also announced an audit of the Boeing 737 Max 9 production line and suppliers. This way, the agency can “evaluate Boeing’s compliance with its approved quality procedures.” The FAA also wants third-party suppliers to undergo additional monitoring. 

In addition to the FAA’s scrutiny, lawmakers are also questioning whether Boeing’s quality control is enough. 

 Senators Ed Markey, J.D. Vance, and Peter Welch wrote a letter to Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun saying “Given the previous tragic crashes of Boeing 737 Max aircraft, we are deeply concerned that the loose bolts represent a systemic issue with Boeing’s capabilities to manufacture safe airplanes.”

No Timetable for Return

There’s no timetable yet for the return of Boeing 737 Max 9 planes since the FAA hasn’t issued maintenance orders yet. 

This scenario left Alaska Airlines re-arranging its schedule and canceling flights given that they have a high percentage of Max 9 planes in their fleet among airlines. 

United Discovered Loose Bolts Too

Alaska isn’t the only airline to discover loose bolts. United Airlines also discovered loose bolts on its fleet of Max 9 planes. Its CEO Scott Kirby said that United is contemplating not having the Boeing 737 Max 10 in its fleet. The Boeing 737 Max 10 is the newer version of the Max 9. 

Boeing said in a statement, “We have let down our airline customers and are deeply sorry for the significant disruption to them, their employees and their passengers. We are taking action on a comprehensive plan to bring these airplanes safely back to service and to improve our quality and delivery performance. We will follow the lead of the FAA and support our customers every step of the way.”

Picture of John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.

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