737 Max 9 Door Blowout: Alaska, Boeing, Spirit Stocks Plunge

In a significant market shake-up, Alaska Airlines, Boeing, and Spirit Aerosystems witnessed a sharp decline in their stock prices during the initial trading session after a 737 Max 9 jet experienced a midair blowout of a large panel on a flight from Portland to Ontario, California, on Friday night.

Boeing’s stock, impacted heavily by the incident, saw a nearly 7% decrease, leading to a 0.2% loss in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, accounting for 77 points. Spirit Aerosystems, the manufacturer of the door plug, experienced an 8% drop, while Alaska Airlines stocks fell by almost 5% on Monday morning.

The incident occurred when the mid-cabin door plug detached midair, compelling the aircraft to return to Portland International Airport (PDX) for an emergency landing. Miraculously, none of the 171 passengers and six crew members suffered serious injuries.

Responding to the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an order on Saturday, grounding all 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft globally for meticulous examination. The National Transportation Safety Board is actively investigating the circumstances surrounding the blowout.

United Airlines and Alaska Airlines, the primary users of the Boeing 737 Max 9, faced disruptions as they canceled over 350 flights on Monday, constituting approximately 8% of United’s schedule and 20% of Alaska’s, according to Flight Aware.

This incident adds to Boeing’s woes since 2019, marked by issues leading to the grounding of the 737 Max 8 following two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019 that claimed 346 lives. Boeing has reported annual losses for four consecutive years from 2019 to 2022, including a $2.2 billion net loss for the first nine months of the previous year. Full-year results for 2023 are anticipated at the end of January.