The Korea Herald

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Korean air carriers ordered to inspect safety of Boeing fleets

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : Jan. 8, 2024 - 17:18

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Korean Air's Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft (Korean Air) Korean Air's Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft (Korean Air)

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has ordered South Korean airlines to carry out safety checks on their Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, according to the ministry on Monday.

The order came as a preemptive measure following an emergency landing on Friday of an Alaska Airlines' Boeing 737 Max 9 jet in Portland, Oregon.

Alaska Airlines' B737 Max 9 bound for Ontario, California, was carrying 171 passengers. The aircraft made an emergency landing due to a cabin panel blowout. Some passengers suffered minor injuries due to the incident.

According to the ministry, local air carriers currently do not have the same Boeing 737 Max 9 jets in their fleet. But, five companies -- including Korean Air, Eastar Jet, T'way Air, Jeju Air, and Jin Air -- have a total of 14 B737 Max 8 jets.

"The B737 Max 9 and Max 8 are two different aircraft, but the government decided to take a preemptive measure to prevent any similar incident," an official from the ministry said.

The ministry has ordered the five companies to check whether their B737 Max 8 jets' fuselage has no structural defects, and if the door is properly attached to the fuselage, the official added.