The DGCA had on Saturday asked Indian carriers to immediately inspect the emergency exits of their B737-8 Max aircraft as a precautionary measure following the Alaska Airlines incident on Friday. Air India Express, SpiceJet, and Akasa Air have 32 operational B737-8 Max aircraft in their fleet in the country. None of the Indian airlines found anything adverse during the inspections.
None of the Indian carriers have B737-9 Max aircraft in their fleet. An emergency exit door of Alaska Airlines's B737-9 Max aircraft – which was en route from Portland, Oregon, to Ontario, California – blew out soon after takeoff, forcing the plane to conduct an emergency landing back in Portland on Friday evening.
As the cabin suddenly got depressurized, certain passengers reported their phones were sucked out of their hands and thrown out of the large hole. The aircraft landed safely back at Portland Airport with all 171 passengers and six flight crew members.
In a statement on Monday, the DGCA said, "As a precautionary measure, DGCA on January 6 (Saturday) directed all Indian operators with Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to check the operation and proper closing of all over wing emergency exits by January 7 (Sunday)."
"These checks have been satisfactorily performed on the operational fleet of Boeing B737-8 Max aircraft by Air India Express (4), SpiceJet (8), and Akasa (20). Akasa Air fleet includes one B737-8200 aircraft which has a mid-cabin door on which the operational check has also been completed satisfactorily," it added.
An Akasa Air spokesperson said the airline has completed a thorough inspection of its entire fleet of in-service B737 Max aircraft. "We can confirm that there are no adverse findings. We can also confirm that there was no disruption to our operations during this time. Akasa Air does not have any Boeing 737 Max-9 aircraft in its fleet, the aircraft on which the incident occurred," the spokesperson added. Air India Express has also completed its inspections without finding anything adverse.
A SpiceJet spokesperson mentioned that the airline has conducted a comprehensive examination of its B737 Max fleet, as per the directives of the DGCA. "No adverse findings were identified during this inspection. Our flight operations remained unaffected and continued to operate as usual. It is important to note that SpiceJet does not operate the B737-9 variant of the Max," the spokesperson mentioned.