Seatbelt sign stays on at Ryanair after Boeing Max 9 blowout

The Irish carrier flies a different version of the 737 family and has an unblemished safety record. But its growth plans rely on planes from the US aerospace giant and its supplier — are they up to it?

The Times

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Narrated by Alistair Osborne

Black humour’s allowed when no-one’s hurt. So, no shock to see the wags’ take on the Alaska Airlines fuselage blow-out: that if it had happened on a Ryanair Max aircraft, Michael O’Leary would have levied a “fresh air” surcharge.

The problem with that gag? It doesn’t work. Luckily, the carrier’s boss hasn’t bought any Boeing 737 Max 9 jets — a configuration found on 215 planes globally and mainly used in American airspace. In place of an emergency exit, there’s a door plug — the bit that blew out of the Alaska jet, carrying 171 passengers and six crew, at 16,000 feet and just ten minutes into the flight. It turned up in the back garden of a teacher’s house in Portland — a key