Which airlines are flying the Boeing 737 MAX 9?

Only a quarter of the world’s fleet was active, most of which were Copa Airlines jets

Following the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) approval of the 737 MAX 9 inspection plan on January 24, airlines that operate Boeing’s aircraft rushed to release their planes for active service.

However, the vast majority of the fleet remained parked four days later, according to data from Planespotters.

Of the 217 737-9s aircraft registered, only 58 were flying, or almost 27% of them.

The carrier that reactivated the most aircraft was Copa Airlines. Panama’s flag carrier has 29 737 MAX 9 jets and only two were on the ground.

The plug door was found in a virtually intact house garden (NTSB)

United Airlines and Alaska Airlines, the largest operators of the aircraft, had released six 737-9s each, of the 144 in their fleets.

Aeromexico, which has the third largest fleet of the plane, had resumed flights with just two of its 19 Boeing 737s.

Another nine airlines and private operators have a total of 25 737 MAX 9s, most of which were not affected by the ban established by the FAA shortly after the incident with the Alaska Airlines aircraft on January 5 when the panel blew off during the flight.

Customer Total Parked Active
United 79 73 6
Alaska 65 59 6
Copa Airlines 29 2 27
Aeromexico 19 17 2
Turkish 5 5 0
SCAT Airlines 5 0 5
Icelandair 4 0 4
flyDubai 3 0 3
Lion Air 3 1 2
Corendon 2 0 2
BBJ 1 1 0
Air Tanzania 1 1
Reliance 1 1 0
217 159 58

Only eight jets were parked, five of them from Turkish Airlines.

The initial restrictions hit 737 MAX 9s that use a door plug on the two extra emergency exits behind the wings. The configuration is most common on US carriers and Aeromexico.

Copa Airlines has eight 737-9s in which emergency exits are installed, but deactivated, which is why it was able to quickly restart more jets.

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The expectation of the type’s operators is that all jets will return to service during the next week, as the inspection work progresses. It takes 12 hours of work to perform the job, the FAA said.


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