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Alaska CEO Offers Update, While Flyers Prepare for Lawsuit

Alaska Airlines chief executive Ben Minicucci tells flyers the airline is doing everything possible to ensure passenger safety as a group aboard Flight 1282 are taking legal action.
The CEO of Alaska Airlines wants to ensure all Alaska passengers that safety is on the forefront of what they do as they try to minimize the impact of Alaska Flight 1282 on the airline.


In a video e-mailed directly to flyers, Alaska Airlines leader Ben Minicucci provided a six-minute update on where the airline stands with the Boeing 737 MAX-9 grounding.



Up to 150 Flights Cancelled Daily as Alaska Promises Enhanced Safety Measures

In the video, Minicucci began by explaining the impact on their schedule and flyers. With the grounding of the 737 MAX-9 by the Federal Aviation Administration, Alaska loses 65 aircraft representing 20% of their fleet. As a result, up to 150 flights are cancelled daily. The carrier is attempting to work with passengers to minimize disruption.


As previously reported, Minicucci reiterated their plan to improve oversight over Boeing’s deliveries. Their plan includes increasing their presence at the Boeing factory, as well as making changes to their own inspection plans.


“We welcome the FAA’s added review and oversight in response to this situation, and the specific steps that Boeing announced to strengthen quality controls and assurance in their operations,” Minicucci said. “In addition to these steps, Alaska Airlines will initiate and enhance our own layers of quality control to the production of our airplanes.”


Even though the 737 MAX program as a whole already experienced scrutiny and a worldwide grounding after two fatal accidents, Minicucci maintains the airline’s commitment to Boeing. He notes the two companies have “a strong relationship…based on accountability, transparency, and candor,” which he plans to continue in the coming weeks and months.


“’Proudly All Boeing’ isn’t just a tagline – it’s a commitment,” Minicucci said. “It’s our pledge to you that when you choose an Alaska flight, the aircraft you’re on is safe. And as the leader of this company, I’m putting all my energy towards making sure this remains true.”


Despite the reassurance, some flyers are taking their own action against the airline and Boeing. ABC News reports at least four flyers aboard Alaska Flight 1282 are suing the companies on the argument the episode caused “intense fear, distress, anxiety, trauma, [and] physical pain.” The group of flyers accuse Boeing of delivering a defective aircraft to the airline, and Alaska for keeping it in service for overland flights.


FlyerTalk could not find a public record from the King County Superior Court on the lawsuit. Alaska has not commented on the action or allegations from the flyers.


Keep up with the Boeing 737 MAX-9 issues and how they affect Alaska Airlines on the FlyerTalk Forums.


Feature image courtesy: Alaska Airlines