Alaska Airlines planes park at the gates at Juneau International Airport in July of 2022. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Alaska Airlines planes park at the gates at Juneau International Airport in July of 2022. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Two Juneau flights on Max 9s scheduled Tuesday rebooked on different planes

No local flights cancelled yet due to grounding of fleet, next Max 9s scheduled Thursday and Friday.

Two Juneau flights scheduled Tuesday aboard Boeing 737 Max 9 planes, which have been grounded due to a fuselage blowout during a flight in Oregon on Friday, have been rebooked on Boeing 737-900 aircraft, according to the airline’s website. The change means Juneau has thus far avoided any cancellations of inbound or outbound flights due to the grounding of the fleet.

The inbound flight from Anchorage is scheduled to depart at 7:22 a.m. and arrive at 9:07 a.m., with the outbound flight to Seattle with two stops in-between scheduled to depart at 10:03 a.m.

The next local flights scheduled aboard Max 9 planes are a Seattle-Juneau flight with a stop in Ketchikan departing at 6:20 p.m. Thursday, and a Juneau-Seattle fight with a stop in Ketchikan departing at 7:18 a.m. Friday.

Scores of other fights are being cancelled by Alaska Airlines daily, according to the tracking website FlightAware. The airline, in a statement at its website, notes a flexible travel policy that waives many change fees is in effect “due to Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft inspections and winter weather in the Northeast.”

In this photo released by the National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB Investigator-in-Charge John Lovell examines the fuselage plug area of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on Sunday in Portland, Ore. A panel used to plug an area reserved for an exit door on the Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliner blew out Friday night shortly after the flight took off from Portland, forcing the plane to return to Portland International Airport. (National Transportation Safety Board via AP)

In this photo released by the National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB Investigator-in-Charge John Lovell examines the fuselage plug area of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on Sunday in Portland, Ore. A panel used to plug an area reserved for an exit door on the Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliner blew out Friday night shortly after the flight took off from Portland, forcing the plane to return to Portland International Airport. (National Transportation Safety Board via AP)

The Federal Aviation Administration grounded all Max 9s operated by Alaska and United — the two domestic carriers using them — and some flown by foreign airlines for inspection after the Friday night incident. A plug covering a spot left for an emergency door tore off the plane as it flew at 16,000 feet shortly after takeoff, but the aircraft made it back to Portland without serious injury to any of the 171 passengers and six crew members aboard.

The inspections are focusing on plugs used to seal an area set aside for extra emergency doors not required on United and Alaska Max 9s. United Airlines reported on Monday it found loose bolts and other “installation issues” on door plugs that were inspected after the Alaska Airlines incident.

Furthermore, Alaska Airlines came under increased scrutiny when the head of the National Transportation Safety Board reported Monday the plane involved in Friday’s incident triggered warning lights from its cabin-pressurization system on three flights, including each of the two days before the fuselage blowout. As a result, Alaska Airlines was ordered to stop flying the plane over the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, but kept flying it over land.

The grounding of the Max 9s, representing about 20% of Alaska Airlines fleet, comes after Delta Airlines announced in October it would not provide year-round Juneau service as it did last year, suspending its Juneau-Seattle flights between Nov. 4 and June 6.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306. The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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