Alaska Airlines first 737-9 MAX planes return to service as final inspections continue

Alaska Airlines maintenance technicians inspect a Boeing 737-MAX 9 / Credit: Ingrid Barrentine / Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines has completed final inspections on our first group of 737-9 MAX aircraft as we move forward to return the fleet to commercial service. We’ll resume flying the 737-9 MAX with Flight 1146 from Seattle to San Diego on Friday afternoon, Jan 26.

On Jan. 24, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the detailed inspection and maintenance process for the 737-9 MAX to return to flying. Our Alaska technicians began the inspections that night. We expect inspections on our 737-9 MAX to be completed by the end of next week, allowing us to operate our full flight schedule.

Each of our 737-9 MAX will return to service only after the rigorous inspections are completed and each plane is deemed airworthy according to FAA requirements. The individual inspections are expected to take up to 12 hours per aircraft.

Alaska Airlines maintenance technicians inspect a Boeing 737-MAX 9 plug door prior to the aircraft returning to service. Photographed January 26, 2024 at SeaTac International Airport. Mandatory Credit: Ingrid Barrentine / Alaska Airlines

We remain extremely grateful to our skilled Maintenance and Engineering team that is shouldering the inspection work and safely returning the planes to service, along with gratitude to all our employees who continue to help support our guests.