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Alaska, United cancel hundreds of flights after a panel blew off the fuselage during flight

via NBC Bay Area
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Alaska Airlines and United Airlines have canceled hundreds of flights this weekend due to the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft for inspections after a panel blew off a flight from Portland, Oregon, causing cabin depressurization.

The incident involved a door plug panel, and while no serious injuries were reported, the airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have grounded the affected aircraft for inspections.

Alaska Airlines canceled about 600 flights, affecting thousands of travelers, and is awaiting further instructions from the FAA and Boeing. (Trending: U.S. State Passes Personal Pronoun Ban)

Alaska Airlines expects “additional significant cancellations through the first half of the week.”

“We are awaiting further information from both the FAA and Boeing to begin the required inspections on the door plug of our 737-9 MAX fleet and will share information as we’re able,” added the airline.

United Airlines also suspended its MAX 9 aircraft, conducting inspections and re-accommodating affected passengers.

United Airlines wrote in a statement, “Service on United’s Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft remains temporarily suspended while it conducts inspections required by the FAA.”

“We’re continuing to work with the FAA to clarify the inspection process and requirements for returning all MAX 9 aircraft to service,” continued the airline.

“We are working with customers to reaccommodate them on other flights and in some cases have been able to avoid cancellations by switching to other aircraft types,” claimed United in their statement.

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