On January 5th, a Boeing 737 MAX 9 Alaska Airlines (N704AL) operating flight AS1282 from Portland to Ontario experienced a rapid decompression after the loss of a large panel that included an emergency exit door on the left side of the plane.
The brand-new aircraft, delivered in October 2023, returned to Portland (PDX) and landed safely. There were 171 passengers and 6 crew members on-board. A statement from Alaska Airlines reads: “Following the events on flight 1282, we have decided to take the precautionary step of temporarily grounding our fleet of 65 Boeing 737-9 aircraft. Each aircraft will be returned to service only after completion of full maintenance and safety inspections. We anticipate all inspections will be completed in the next few days.”
Alaska Airlines CEO, Ben Minicucci, added: “I am personally committed to doing everything we can to conduct this review in a timely and transparent way. We are working with Boeing and regulators to understand what occurred, and will share updates as more information is available. The NTSB is investigating this event and we will fully support their investigation.”