Alert for six Boeing 737 aircraft

Iraq awaits Boeing’s guidance after incident in U.S.

BAGHDAD, 6 January — 964media reported an official source in the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority stating that Iraq is awaiting any new instructions from Boeing regarding its aircraft. This follows the announcement by the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to inspect 171 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft after an incident where a window and a piece of an aircraft’s body exploded mid-flight, forcing an emergency landing in Portland, Oregon.

The source informed 964media that “Iraq currently owns 6 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, but the Iraqi planes are from the older version 8, unlike the version 9 which experienced the malfunction in the United States last Friday.”

The source added, “We have not received any new instructions from Boeing. In case of any issues, they usually issue a bulletin that is circulated to the countries using their aircraft, to conduct inspections and verifications.”

In a recent incident, a Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft operated by Alaska Airlines experienced a mid-flight window blowout and part of the fuselage detached, leading to cabin depressurization. This occurred shortly after the plane took off from Oregon, heading to Ontario, California. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Portland International Airport. Onboard were 171 passengers and six crew members. No serious injuries were reported, though minor injuries were treated at the scene.

Subsequently, Alaska Airlines grounded its entire fleet of 65 Boeing 737-9 MAX planes, which represent over a quarter of its fleet. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched an investigation into the incident, focusing on the pressurization problem reported. Exterior photos indicate that the rear mid-cabin exit door separated from the aircraft during the flight. This aircraft model features a rear cabin door behind the wings for densely seated configurations. However, these are permanently deactivated on Alaska Airlines planes.

The aircraft involved was relatively new, having been in commercial service since November 11 and completing 145 flights. Over 170 Boeing 737 Max planes have been grounded by US regulators following this incident. Alaska Airlines has announced that each Boeing 737-9 MAX will undergo full maintenance and safety inspections before returning to service, expected to be completed within days.

This incident has intensified scrutiny on Boeing’s safety standards, given the previous issues with the Boeing 737 Max models.