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Alaska Air's inaugural 737 MAX flight takes to skies over Seattle

KOMO-TV Seattle logo KOMO-TV Seattle 3/1/2021 KOMO News Staff
Alaska Air's inaugural 737 MAX flight takes to skies over Seattle
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SEATTLE -- Alaska Airlines' first 737 MAX flight took the skies over Seattle Monday morning.

Alaska's first MAX was delivered to the airline at the end of January at Boeing Field. The plane is known for next generation features like using sustainable aviation fuel to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions.

The 737 MAX fleet was grounded for two years after two deadly crashes overseas. The plane was cleared to fly again by the FAA in November.

a large passenger jet sitting on top of a tarmac © Provided by KOMO-TV Seattle
Caption: Alaska Air's inaugural 737 MAX flight takes to skies over Seattle

Investigators blamed an in-flight control system that pilots were never properly trained to handle. Boeing and the FAA took heat for several failures.

Pilots will now get additional training on the MAX.

"The FAA's training was good but we added to that training and we want to just be better than good," said Alaska pilot Capt. Chris Kipp. 

a man standing in front of a store © Provided by KOMO-TV Seattle

Some passengers said they waited for this flight to open up and booked tickets as fast as they could, with one saying it was even better than snagging a Super Bowl ticket.

"It's just the experience," said Ryan Doan. "This is my first time on a first flight and I'm very excited."

Alaska will first put the MAX on routes from Seattle to San Diego and Los Angeles and then expand along the West Coast.

American and United have also put their 737 MAX planes back in service.

For Alaska, it's the first of many MAX planes on the way. They've ordered 68 of the new planes so far with the option to buy another 52. Those planes will be delivered over the next four years to replace the Airbus planes the airline had acquired with its Virgin America merger.

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