United Airlines and Alaska Airlines have found loose parts on some Boeing 737 Max planes that the US aviation regulator ordered to be grounded following a mid-air blowout.
United said inspections of its fleet of 737 Max 9 planes found some ‘installation issues’, such as bolts around the door plugs that needed additional tightening. It is understood issues have been found on 10 planes.
On Friday, a door plug on an Alaska Airlines flying from Portland in Oregan blew out at 16,000 feet. The plane, with 178 people onboard, landed safely with no fatalities.
The Federal Aviation Authority later grounded all Max 9s configured with a plugged or permanently shut door, which replaces the emergency exit door on planes with fewer than the standard seating configuration.
During subsequent inspections of its aircraft, Alaska Airlines said it had found some loose hardware on some aircraft. The Max 9s remain grounded by the FAA until inspections and repairs are completed.
The groundings forced United to cancel 200 flights yesterday, around 8% of its total. Alaska Airlines cancelled 22%.
Other airlines that have been forced to ground Max 9s with door plugs include Copa Airlines, Aeromexico, Turkish Airlines and Lion Air of Indonesia.