By Micah Maidenberg

 

Alaska Air Group Inc. said Monday it accepted delivery of its first Boeing 737-9 MAX airplane, another example of an airline taking on the aircraft following Boeing Co.'s work to revamp its safety following two deadly crashes.

Alaska said the plane is scheduled to enter passenger service in March, serving the Seattle, San Diego and Los Angeles markets. The company said it expects to place another one into service that month as well.

In December, United Airlines Holdings Inc. became the first airline to receive a newly produced model of the jet after U.S. regulators ended a grounding in November. The MAX plane was involved in two crashes that resulted in 346 deaths. Boeing has added new software for the plane that changes the flight-control system at the center of the crashes.

Alaska said its pilots will fly it for more than 50 flight hours and about 19,000 miles on "proving flights" to confirm its safety and those of the Federal Aviation Administration. Pilots will receive eight hours of training specifically related to the MAX jet. Maintenance technicians will also undergo fresh training related to the plane.

"We have high confidence in this aircraft," John Ladner, vice president of flight operations at Alaska, said in a statement.

The carrier last month restructured its order agreement with Boeing to receive 68 737-9 MAX planes over the next four years. It said it has options to take an additional 52 planes.

 

Write to Micah Maidenberg at micah.maidenberg@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 25, 2021 08:37 ET (13:37 GMT)

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