Indian regulator orders aircraft inspections following Alaska Airlines incident – ANI

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s aviation regulator on Saturday ordered an inspection of all Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft owned by domestic operators after a cabin panel blowout forced a new Alaska Airlines airplane to make an emergency landing in the United States, news agency ANI reported.

The California-bound Boeing 737-9 Max aircraft operated by Alaska Airlines had to make an emergency landing on Friday as it climbed out of Portland, Oregon.

There were no immediate indications of the cause of the apparent structural failure nor any reports of injuries.

While none of India’s air operators have the Boeing 737-9 Max model in their fleets, the country’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has directed a “one-time inspection of the emergency exits immediately on all Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft currently operating as part of their fleet,” ANI said in a post on social media platform X.

The Alaska Airlines flight, with 171 passengers and six crew, landed safely after the loss of a cabin panel. The airline has grounded 65 similar planes that would return to service only after precautionary maintenance and safety inspections.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

Boeing has said it is looking into the incident.

“We are working to gather more information and are in contact with our airline customer,” Boeing said.

(Reporting by Nikunj Ohri in New Delhi; Editing by Mike Harrison)