LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — One of the first three Alaska Airlines 737-9 MAX flights since the aircraft was grounded following a harrowing incident that went viral and raised red flags about its safety will be departing the Las Vegas airport on Friday.
An Alaska Airlines representative confirmed that the first “return-to-service” flight for the 737-9 MAX would occur Friday. In addition to that flight, scheduled to depart from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at 2:20 p.m. for San Diego International Airport, the 737-9 MAX will also return to the skies above Las Vegas. An Alaska Airlines flight from Las Vegas is scheduled to take off at 4:54 p.m. from Harry Reid International Airport on Friday with service to the Portland International Airport. Additionally, a 737-9 MAX flight is scheduled to depart Seattle for Ontario, California on Friday at 7:49 p.m.
In early January, the door plug of a 737 Max 9 aircraft blew out mid-flight over Oregon, resulting in a viral video of the plane with a gaping hole in its side. It caused rapid depressurization and an emergency landing. All similar 737 Max 9 aircraft were grounded nationwide during the inspection process.
The Boeing scrutiny comes after the door plug of a 737 Max 9 aircraft blew out mid-flight over Oregon early this month, causing rapid depressurization and an emergency landing. Nobody was injured in the incident, but it sparked widespread inspections of other 737 Max 9 airframes that have discovered loose bolts and other manufacturing defects.
On Thursday, it was announced that Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliners would begin transporting passengers in the United States again.