The accident on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on Jan. 5 has thrust Boeing Co.'s 737 Max plane "- by far its most popular aircraft and its biggest source of revenue "- into the spotlight again.
The manufacturer's entire fleet of Max aircraft was temporarily taken out of service in 2019 following two deadly crashes. Now, the US Federal Aviation Administration has ordered a temporary grounding of some 737 Max 9 aircraft after Friday's accident involving that subtype, prompting regulators and airlines around the world to take precaution and discuss next steps.
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Here are the measures that regulators, governments and airlines are adopting:
Regulators and Government Agencies
The US Federal Aviation Administration ordered the temporary grounding and inspections of certain 737 Max 9 aircraft. The move affects about 171 planes worldwide, according to a statement by the FAA.
The US National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the matter. Its chair, Jennifer Homendy, said the probe will include a look at the FAA's oversight of Boeing and the manufacturer's process for planemaking on the affected aircraft type.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency told Bloomberg News it had adopted the FAA's emergency directive. It noted no European airline in an EASA member state operated an aircraft in the affected Boeing configuration.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority said it has written to non-UK and foreign permit carriers to inquire about inspections being undertaken prior to flying into or over UK airspace. There are no UK-registered 737 Max 9 jets.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China on Saturday evening held an emergency meeting on the Alaska Air incident, as it weighed its response to the fuselage blowout, Bloomberg News reported. No Chinese carrier operates a 737 Max 9.
India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation is asking its country's carriers to make a one-time inspection of 737 Max 8 jets made by Boeing. Like China, no Indian carrier operates a 737 Max 9 jet.
Indonesia grounded three 737 Max 9 aircraft operated by discount carrier Lion Air until further notice. Lion Air's aircraft do not have plugs on their emergency exits, as the carrier operates them in a high-density configuration and the FAA's grounding wouldn't ordinarily apply. A Lion Air Max 8 was involved in the first of two fatal crashes that led to the model's global grounding in 2019.
Actions by Airlines
Alaska Air Group Inc., the airline at the center of the turmoil, initially grounded all 65 of its 737-9 Max jets hours after the accident. It later allowed 18 of the planes to resume flying after receiving detailed maintenance inspections pre-dating the event. However, it subsequently pulled all jets from service again.
United Airlines Holding Inc., the biggest operator of the affected Max type, says all 79 of its jets are temporarily grounded. The next step is for the airline to determine with the FAA the inspection process and requirements to return the planes to service. It earlier said 33 of the jets had met necessary inspections before grounding all planes.
Panama's Copa Airlines SA said it grounded 21 of its impacted jets. The carrier has a total of 29 in its fleet, but operates them in two different configurations.
Aeromexico has followed United and Alaska Air in pulling all 19 of its 737-9 Max jets from service for inspections.
Icelandair said its small fleet of 737-9 Max jets are not affected by FAA inspections. The carrier has been in contact with Boeing and the FAA.
Turkish Airlines said its country's civil aviation authority asked it to examine its small fleet of five 737-9 Max planes. Until the technical review is complete, the carrier has withdrawn the jets from service.
FlyDubai said its three 737-9 Max jets are unaffected by the FAA directive, the company told Bloomberg News.