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Boeing Buys Back 737MAX That Suffered Explosive Mid-Cabin Exit Door Blowout From Alaska Airlines

Boeing Buys Back 737MAX That Suffered Explosive Mid-Cabin Exit Door Blowout From Alaska Airlines

men sitting in an airplane

Boeing has formally bought back the 737MAX-9 airplane that suffered an explosive mid-cabin exit door blowout in January, leading to a global grounding and renewed regulatory attention on the beleaguered aircraft manufacturer.

On Friday, Alaska Airlines confirmed that it has entered into a purchase agreement with Boeing to get rid of the damaged plane (registration: N704AL), which had been delivered to the carrier just months before the explosive decompression.

The aircraft was delivered brand new to Alaska Airlines on October 31 2023, but it has not flown since January 5, 2024, when it diverted back to Portland, Oregon, when a decommissioned door plug blew out shortly after takeoff.

Boeing has already taken possession of the aircraft and its registration altered to reflect the change of ownership, Alaska Airlines said in a short statement. The airline did not say how much Boeing had agreed to pay for the jet.

Alaska Airlines has already ordered a 737MAX-10 as a replacement for the damaged aircraft.

In April, the Seattle-based carrier revealed that Boeing had agreed to pay it $160 million in initial compensation following the Flight 1282 incident. The compensation directly covered Alaska’s first-quarter losses stemming from lost revenues, costs associated with irregular operations, and the cost of inspecting grounded planes.

Alaska Airlines expects further compensation from Boeing, although the exact details remain under wraps.

An investigation led by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues into the causes of the exit door blowout. Earlier this week, the NTSB sanctioned Boeing over a media briefing it held into the ongoing investigation.

The NTSB was enraged by a senior Boeing executive’s decision to share confidential information about the investigation and offer his own opinion about the cause of the accident.

Following the media briefing, Boeing has had some of its privileges in the investigation process revoked, and company executives will be subpoenaed to appear at a regulatory hearing in August.

Unlike other parties who will appear at the hearing, Boeing will be banned from cross-examining other witnesses.

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