Alaska and United airlines announced additional cancellations in the wake of the nationwide grounding of Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft.
In a statement on its website Wednesday, Alaska Airlines said all flights originally scheduled to be operated on 737 Max 9 aircraft would be canceled through Saturday while it conducts inspections and prepares for the aircraft’s return to service.
That equates to between 110 to 150 flights per day, the carrier said.
‘We hope this action provides guests with a little more certainty, and we are working around the clock to reaccommodate impacted guests on other flights,’ Alaska said.
Meanwhile, United Airlines said 167 of its Max 9 flights would be canceled for Wednesday, though about 45 cancellations would be reinstated as other aircraft types are substituted. Still, the airline said it expects ‘significant’ cancellations on Thursday as well.
Data from FlightAware on Wednesday afternoon showed 204 United and 121 Alaska flights canceled.
On January 6, the FAA ordered all 737 Max 9 aircraft grounded after a panel blew off Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 from Portland, Oregon, to Ontario, California, a day earlier.
On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration announced every Boeing 737 Max 9 with a plug door would remain grounded ‘until the FAA can safely return to operation.’ The agency said it continued to work with Boeing to come up with a set of instructions for carriers to perform necessary inspections and maintenance.
‘The safety of the flying public, not speed, will determine the timeline for returning the Boeing 737-9 Max to service,’ the agency said.
On Tuesday, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun acknowledged the incident as a ‘mistake.’
‘We’re going to approach it with 100% and complete transparency every step of the way,” Calhoun told a town hall staff meeting at the factory that makes 737 planes in Renton, Washington. Boeing was going to work with the NTSB “to find out what the root cause is,” he said.