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DGCA Directs Airlines to Inspect Boeing 737 MAX-8 Emergency Exits

The DGCA, the aviation safety regulator, has instructed Akasa Air, Air India Express, and Spicejet to perform a one-time inspection of emergency exits on all Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft within their fleets by noon on January 7. This precautionary measure comes in response to an incident involving an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX-9 in the United States. Currently, these three carriers operate over 40 Boeing 737 MAX-8 planes collectively in India, with no 737 MAX-9 aircraft present in any Indian airline’s fleet.

“Pursuant to the Alaska Airlines incident involving Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft, there have been no inputs/guidance from Boeing so far. None of the Indian air operators have Boeing 737-9 MAX as part of their fleet yet. However, as an abundant precautionary measure, DGCA has directed all the Indian air operators to cany outa one-time inspection of the emergency exits immediately on all Boeing737-8 MAX aircraft currently operating as part of their fleet,” a top DGCA official said. The DGCA asked for the inspections to be held during the aircraft’s night halts so that flight schedules are not affected.

The carriers said that they are in touch with Boeing to get more information on the Alaska Airlines incident They said that they will comply with the DGCA’s directive on the one-time inspection of emergency exits.

Recently an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX-9 plane operating a flight between Portland and Ontario (in California) made an emergency landing soon after take-off after a mid-air window blow-out that led to a section of the fuselage also breaking away, causing decompression in the cabin. AH the 171 passengers and six crew on board the aircraft returned safely. Following the incident, Alaska Airlines has temporarily grounded all of its 737 MAX-9 planes.

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