After a portion of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliner’s fuselage blew out in midair minutes after the plane had taken off from Portland, Ore., on Jan. 5, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded about 170 Max 9 planes, causing airlines that rely heavily on the aircraft to cancel thousands of flights and inconveniencing many passengers.
On Wednesday, the F.A.A. approved inspection and maintenance procedures for the planes, clearing the way for the grounded Max 9 planes to fly again.
Airlines said they planned to resume flying the Max 9s this week, and Alaska Airlines began using the aircraft again on Friday with a flight from Seattle to San Diego. Here’s what passengers should know about the plane and their rights if they want to avoid flying on it.
Which airlines use the Max 9?
Of the 215 Boeing Max 9 airplanes flown globally, United Airlines operates 79, the most of any airline, and Alaska has 65, according to Cirium, an aviation data provider. Their combined fleets represent about 70 percent of the Max 9 jets in service.
Other operators relying on the Max 9 include Panama’s Copa Airlines, Aeromexico, Turkish Airlines, FlyDubai and Icelandair.
Airlines generally share detailed information about all the planes in their fleets on their websites.
When will the airlines resume flying the Max 9?
Alaska said in a statement that final inspections, which take up to 12 hours for each plane, are underway. The airline said that it planned to bring the “first few planes” back for scheduled flights on Friday.