Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's conglomerate uses the type of Boeing Co. jet that is facing global scrutiny after a fuselage section on one such aircraft blew out mid-flight on Friday.
Reliance Industries Ltd., controlled by Asia's richest man, is the only one with a corporate jet that's a Boeing 737-9 Max variant and has a plugged mid-cabin exit door, data from flight data provider Cirium show.
While there were no fatalities on the Alaska Airlines flight, the incident has raised serious questions over the safety of the particular model and Boeing's record in general as several carriers grounded their entire fleets. The Federal Aviation Administration on Saturday ordered certain Max 9 aircraft to be halted from flying temporarily while they're inspected.
Reliance Industries added the Boeing 737-9 Max to its corporate fleet last year, according to media reports at the time. The plane has the registration T7-LOTUS and is decked out in Reliance livery.
A spokesperson for Reliance didn't immediately respond for a request for comment. India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation asked carriers to inspect Boeing's 737-8 Max jets "- another type of plane "- and finish their one-time inspection by Sunday.
Reliance has several other jets in its corporate fleet, including two Embraer SA ERJ 145 aircraft and one Airbus SE A319. It also has two helicopters, a Dauphin and a Sikorsky, in its company hangar, according to media reports.
Ambani is worth $97.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Outside of Alaska Air, United Airlines Holdings Inc. and Panama's Copa Airlines SA, a handful of other carriers have the jet with the mid-cabin door plugged up, including flydubai, Aeromexico and Air Tanzania. Alaska Air, United Airlines and Copa have already grounded dozens of such jets in their fleet.
The 737-9 Max is Boeing's longest single-aisle variant. It has modular fuselage layouts that allow for emergency doors to be installed more variably depending on the number of seats. That gives customers greater flexibility with the cabin configuration.
On the Max 9, Boeing includes a cabin exit door behind the wings, but before the rear exit door. It's activated in dense seating configurations to meet evacuation requirements. The doors were not activated on Alaska Air aircraft and instead were permanently plugged.