US air carrier finds loose bolts on many of its Boeing jets — RT World News

Safety inspections of 737 MAX 9 planes operated by Alaska Airlines reveal more quality control failures

Alaska Airlines, the US carrier whose mid-air explosion earlier this month led to the nationwide grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes for safety checks, found loose bolts in “a lot” Of the aircraft in its fleet.

“It makes you angry when we find problems like this in brand new planes.” Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci said Tuesday in an interview NBC News interview. he added, “I am beyond frustrated and disappointed. I am angry. This happened to Alaska Airlines. It happened to our guests and it happened to our people.”

Minicucci was referring to a January 5 flight bound for California from Portland, Oregon, that had to turn back after a door plug exploded at 16,000 feet, injuring many of the plane's 171 passengers. He said the outcome could have been much worse had the seat next to the door socket not been vacant, one of only seven empty seats on the plane. “Honestly, we had a guardian angel on that plane.”

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to the impending disaster by grounding all Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft in the country for safety checks. The latest crash follows the temporary grounding of the 737 MAX, Boeing's best-selling plane, by aviation regulators around the world in March 2019, after two crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed 346 people. The planes were approved to return to service after about two years, after repairs were made to their flight control systems.

Minicucci said Alaska Airlines will send auditors to audit Boeing's quality control systems to ensure that all planes it has ordered from the company are safe to fly. He added that the company would reconsider its plans to purchase a newer version of the long-awaited 737 Max 10 from Boeing.

Boeing issued a statement to NBC acknowledging this “We have failed our airline customers and are deeply sorry for the significant inconvenience they, their employees and their passengers have experienced.” The huge defense contractor added that it is taking steps to return 737 MAX 9s to service and improve quality performance.

Like Minicucci, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby is rethinking plans to buy more Boeing planes after recent security concerns. United also discovered loose bolts when it conducted safety checks on its grounded 737 planes. “I think grounding the MAX 9 is probably the straw that broke the camel's back for us.” Kirby said Tuesday in an interview with CNBC. He added that Boeing needs “real work” To restore its reputation for quality.

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