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Alaska Airlines CEO reveals they found loose bolts on ‘many’ of their planes after near-disaster
Featured Image Credit: NBC News/ Bruce Bennett/ Getty Images

Alaska Airlines CEO reveals they found loose bolts on ‘many’ of their planes after near-disaster

The CEO of Alaska Airlines has hit out after findings revealed there were loose bolts on 'many' of the company's planes.

The CEO of Alaska Airlines has spoken out after a safety inspection found 'some loose bolts on many' of its MAX 9 planes.

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 hit headlines after one of its Boeing 737 MAX 9's door plug blew off mid-flight, 16,000 feet in the air.

Passengers quickly spoke out about the horrifying ordeal and the shocking compensation they've been offered.

And the airline has since identified problems with not just that aircraft, but 'many' of its planes. Catch the CEO's reflection on the findings here:

The Boeing 737 Max 9 departed from Portland Airport Friday (5 January) to California, however, it had to turn back 35 minutes into the journey as a result of the lost door plug.

All models of the aircraft were swiftly grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration after the incident and Alaska Airlines carried out a series of in-house inspections of its Boeing 737 Max 9 planes.

Both United Airlines and Alaska Airlines issued a statement on 9 January which read: "Since we began preliminary inspections on Saturday, we have found instances that appear to relate to installation issues in the door plug. For example, bolts that needed additional tightening. These findings will be remedied by our Tech Ops team to safely return the aircraft to service."

And CEO of Alaska Airlines, Ben Minicucci, has now addressed the findings.

The Alaska Airlines flight had to turn around after the door plug blew out.
Christina House / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Minicucci told NBC News he is 'more than frustrated and disappointed' with the discovery that loose bolts were found on 'many' of the company's grounded planes.

He said: "I am angry. This happened to Alaska Airlines. It happened to our guests and happened to our people.

"And - my demand on Boeing is what are they going to do to improve their quality programs in-house.

"We’re sending our audit people to audit their quality control systems and processes to make sure that every aircraft that comes off that production line, that comes to Alaska has the highest levels of excellence and quality.

"[...] It’s clear to me that we received an airplane from Boeing with a faulty door. Now the NTSB investigation is going to figure out why that was a faulty door, whether it was bad installation, missing hardware, a manufacturing issue, but there’s no doubt that Alaska received an airplane off the production line with a faulty door."

A passenger posted a video of the incident.
TikTok / @strawberr.vy

In a statement to UNILAD, Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes said: "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."

Minicucci added the company is 'open' to buying the latest versions of the planes - the Max 10s - and is figuring out 'what the best long-term strategic plan is for Alaska['s] fleet mix'.

UNILAD has contacted Alaska Airlines and Boeing for additional comment.

Topics: Alaska, Travel, US News, Business