Southwest (NYSE: LUV) canceled 300 flights today as it inspects 79 of its fleet of Boeing (NYSE: BA) 737s. Southwest made it clear that Boeing will be a part of the process.
Southwest probably did not damage the planes over the last two decades, which leaves the question of whether the aircraft have mechanical problems. A Southwest 737 was forced to make an emergency landing Friday after it developed a rip in its skin after leaving Phoenix.
Southwest said early this morning it is working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to determine the cause of a depressurization event during a Phoenix- Sacramento flight on Friday that diverted to Yuma, Ariz. Overnight, the airline worked with engineers from the Boeing Company to further assess the damage to the aircraft and develop an inspection regimen to look more closely at 79 (not 81 as was previously reported) of its Boeing 737 aircraft which are covered by a set of Federal Aviation Administration Airworthiness Directives aimed at inspections for aircraft skin fatigue. Those aircraft will be inspected over the course of the next several days at five locations.
Douglas A. McIntyre