Alaska Scare: DGCA Calls for One-Time Emergency Exit Check  

Civil Aviation

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has directed Air India Express, Akasa Air and SpiceJet to “carry out a one-time inspection of the emergency exits immediately on all Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft currently operating as part of their fleet.”

DGCA issued this directive as an “abundant precautionary measure” after an Alaska Airlines B737-9 Max January five saw a mid-cabin emergency exit assembly and a portion of the plane’s fuselage blow out shortly after take-off in

“Pursuant to the Alaska Airlines incident involving Boeing 737-9 Max aircraft, there have been no inputs/guidance from Boeing so far,” said a DGCA official. While no Indian carrier operates the B737-9 variant of the Max yet, three Indian carriers have 41 B737 MAX in their fleet as of now — Akasa (20); SpiceJet (12) and Air India Express (9).

In a statement, Boeing said: “We are aware of the incident involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. We are working to gather more information and are in contact with our airline customer. A Boeing technical team stands ready to support the investigation.”

An Air India Express spokesperson said the airline is “aware of the recent incident involving a Boeing aircraft of Alaska Air. The aircraft involved is a different variant from the B737-8 operated by Air India Express. We are in touch with Boeing for more information regarding this, as well as with our regulators and will comply with any advisory”.

Akasa said in a statement: “…Even though the incident occurred with another airline in US, we are in contact with the aircraft manufacturer and regulators to monitor developments and will follow guidance issued by them…. Akasa doesn’t have any 737 Max-9 aircraft type which was the aircraft involved in the incident”.

A Spice Jet spokesperson said while the airline does not have any 737-9 Max in its fleet, it “will adhere by the DGCA directive on the Max-8.”