Southwest update: more cancellations, tests for metal fatigue
Southwest Airlines announced it will cancel 100 more services on 04-Apr-2011 and reported small, subsurface cracks in two jets during inspections for metal fatigue after an aircraft’s fuselage tore open mid air (Bloomberg, 04-Apr-2011). In Jan-2010 the FAA ordered fuselage checks for metal fatigue on 135 B737-300s, -400s and -500s in the US after Boeing recommended such checks in Sep-2009. Boeing spokesperson Marc Birtel stated no fleetwide action is being taken for the line of B737s. Boeing is working with Southwest and the NTSB in the investigation and will take action is there is a need.