Boeing 737: Alaska Airlines CEO 'angry' about window blowout - as loose bolts found on 'many' aircraft

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The CEO of Alaska Airlines has revealed that loose bolts have been found on "many" Boeing aircraft following the window blowout incident

The CEO of Alaska Airlines has said he is “angry” about the incident on 5 January when a door panel ripped off mid-flight and revealed loose bolts have been found on “many” Boeing aircraft. Yesterday (Tuesday 23 January), Ben Minicucci, told Sky News' US partner network NBC News that he is “more than frustrated and disappointed”. 

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) grounded most of Boeing's MAX 9 jets for checks after the incident on 5 January. On 8 January Alaska Airlines disclosed that initial reports from its technicians indicated “some loose hardware was visible on some 737 MAX 9 planes”.

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Now, after an in-house inspection of the Boeing 737 Max 9 fleet, Alaska Airlines chief Minicucci said “many” of these aircraft had loose bolts. Minicucci said: "I am angry. This happened to Alaska Airlines. It happened to our guests and happened to our people. My demand on Boeing is what are they going to do to improve their quality programmes in-house."

Minicucci became president of Alaska Airlines in 2016. He said he was "incredulous" that something like the 5 January incident could even happen.

The CEO of Alaska Airlines has revealed that loose bolts have been found on "many" Boeing aircraft following the window blowout incident. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)The CEO of Alaska Airlines has revealed that loose bolts have been found on "many" Boeing aircraft following the window blowout incident. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)
The CEO of Alaska Airlines has revealed that loose bolts have been found on "many" Boeing aircraft following the window blowout incident. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

He added: "I knew that this was an issue out of the [Boeing] factory. There was no question in my mind. And it's clear to me that we received an airplane from Boeing with a faulty door. Now the NTSB [National Transportation Safety Board] 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.”

No announcement has been made on when Boeing-made planes can return to service. Alaska Airlines has spent weeks cancelling and rearranging its schedule causing travel chaos for passengers. 

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In a statement, Boeing 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."

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