Southwest Airlines grounds 128 uninspected planes

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A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737–700. From file.
Image: Kevinboydston.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The US carrier Southwest Airlines, the world's largest low-cost carrier, announced grounding 128 planes on Tuesday because the planes had not be adequately inspected.

Company spokesperson Brandy King explained backup hydraulic systems of 128 of the company's Boeing 737-700s should have been inspected sooner. The systems overdue for inspection back up the main rudder control systems.

King said the the incident is inadvertent and emphasised the airline's commitment to safety. The airline decided to ground the planes involved in the missed inspections and notified the authorities.

As of last year, Southwest Airlines' fleet had around 665 Boeing 737s. The uninspected planes incident involves about twenty percent of its fleet, and caused the airline to cancel about 80 flights on Tuesday, with possibly another 19 cancellations yesterday.

Following the airline's actions, the Federal Aviation Administration ruled grounding of the planes is not mandatory provided inspections are completed within five days.


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