Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON

MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  Southwest Airlines    LUV

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

(LUV)
  Report
SummaryQuotesChartsNewsRatingsCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
News SummaryMost relevantAll newsPress ReleasesOfficial PublicationsSector news

Southwest Airlines : FAA Probes Problem With Southwest Jet -- Update

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
03/13/2020 | 10:58pm EDT

By Andy Pasztor

U.S. air-safety officials are investigating potential structural problems affecting hundreds of Boeing 737 jets following an in-flight incident that left a 12-inch rupture in the aluminum skin of a Southwest Airlines plane.

Nobody was hurt on Monday night's flight, en route from Las Vegas to Boise, Idaho, as the damaged aircraft descended to a safe altitude and the pilots landed at their destination, according to the carrier and the Federal Aviation Administration. The plane's cabin gradually lost pressure but it stabilized after pilots descended to a lower altitude, and oxygen masks never deployed.

The unusual event has prompted the agency to analyze whether more-frequent inspections should be ordered to check the integrity of the same part of the fuselage on similar 737 models.

The FAA analysis doesn't affect Boeing's 737 MAX models, which are newer and currently grounded around the globe.

Pilots on Southwest Flight 1685 descended to 22,000 feet from 39,000 feet and continued safely to their destination.

"The aircraft was able to maintain a safe cabin pressure," according to an FAA statement, adding that the agency is investigating.

A spokeswoman for Southwest said the plane was taken out of service and is being repaired. "We consistently review our maintenance programs based on new information and continually seek opportunities to improve our robust safety practices," she said.

Southwest has told the FAA that previously mandated maintenance checks found external cracks on two other 737s in the same location as with the plane involved in Monday's incident, according to people familiar with the details. But those cracks -- on top of the plane behind the cockpit -- didn't result in the kind of cabin decompression that occurred on the flight this week, according to information the carrier has provided to FAA inspectors.

Current FAA safety rules require inspections after every 1,500 flights to look for cracks on the exterior of that portion of the fuselage. The jet that landed safely in Boise was inspected roughly 500 flights before Monday's incident, according to a person familiar with the details.

Such maintenance checks for structural problems are routine safety initiatives across all airliner models.

The most serious result of cracks in an aircraft's body is a rapid decompression of the cabin. Such a problem can create a hole in the fuselage, through which, in extreme cases, passengers can even be sucked out in flight.

The FAA and Boeing have been devising enhanced maintenance procedures for the same section of what is called the crown of 737 jets since 2008. The original safety directive was replaced by revised inspection requirements in 2016 and again in 2017.

It is too early to know whether the FAA will require more-frequent inspections, according to another person familiar with the details. Before any decision, FAA experts are expected to review the service and maintenance history -- as well as the structural integrity of certain modifications -- affecting Southwest and other U.S. operators of the widely used 737 models.

In 2016, the FAA's maintenance order called on airlines to look for missing or loose fasteners and laid out other measures intended to prevent cracks from spreading.

The 2017 safety directive said Boeing determined that the skin of certain 737 models is subject to widespread metal-fatigue damage. If the weakness isn't detected and corrected, according to the FAA, it could "result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane."

The FAA's deliberations come five months after the agency ordered emergency structural inspections of some older 737 NG jets, in order to detect unrelated cracking in crucial components that help connect wings to fuselages. Subsequently, there were checks and repairs, as necessary, of 737 NG jets that had flown fewer trips. Dozens of planes world-wide have been grounded and repaired, causing some schedule disruptions.

Southwest, for its part, has had regulatory tussles over the years with the FAA regarding structural inspections and other maintenance issues. More than a decade ago, after Congressional investigators revealed Southwest flew tens of thousands of passengers on 46 older aircraft without completing mandatory structural inspections, the carrier agreed to pay a $7.5 million civil penalty. Years later, metal fatigue opened a 5-foot gash on a Southwest 737 that ended up making an emergency landing at a military base in Arizona. There were no injuries.

Write to Andy Pasztor at andy.pasztor@wsj.com

 

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BOEING COMPANY (THE) 3.74% 146.87 Delayed Quote.-56.54%
SOUTHWEST AIRLINES 4.67% 34.3 Delayed Quote.-36.46%
share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
Latest news on SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
04/08SOUTHWEST AIRLINES : Flight Schedule Revised June 6-27
AQ
04/07SOUTHWEST AIRLINES : LUV DEADLINE NOTICE, ROSEN, A TOP LAW FIRM, Reminds Southwe..
BU
04/07SOUTHWEST AIRLINES : Flight Schedule Revised June 6—27
PU
04/03Airlines Apply for Government Aid but Say Outlook Is Dire -- Update
DJ
04/03Correction to Airlines Aid Article
DJ
04/03Airlines Apply for Government Aid but Say Outlook Is Dire
DJ
04/02GLOBAL MARKETS LIVE: Redundancy plan at Boeing, Amazon wins lawsuit in Europe..
04/01Flight Attendants Urge Government Not to Take Airline Stakes
DJ
04/01SOUTHWEST AIRLINES : LUV INVESTOR ALERT - Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC Rem..
BU
04/01SOUTHWEST AIRLINES : Flight Schedule Revised May 3-June 5
AQ
More news
Financials (USD)
Sales 2020 17 805 M
EBIT 2020 528 M
Net income 2020 486 M
Finance 2020 1 585 M
Yield 2020 1,69%
P/E ratio 2020 23,5x
P/E ratio 2021 7,64x
EV / Sales2020 0,91x
EV / Sales2021 0,69x
Capitalization 17 743 M
Chart SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
Duration : Period :
Southwest Airlines Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsBearishBearishBearish
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 19
Average target price 44,61  $
Last Close Price 34,30  $
Spread / Highest target 72,0%
Spread / Average Target 30,1%
Spread / Lowest Target -18,4%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Gary C. Kelly Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Thomas M. Nealon President
Michael G. Van de Ven Chief Operating Officer
Tammy Romo CFO, Principal Accounting Officer & Executive VP
Landon Nitschke Senior Vice President-Technical Operations
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
SOUTHWEST AIRLINES-36.46%16 952
AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.-64.37%4 354
JUNEYAO AIRLINES CO., LTD0.71%2 782
ALLEGIANT TRAVEL COMPANY-53.10%1 312
PEGASUS HAVA TASIMACILIGI AS--.--%609
EXCHANGE INCOME CORPORATION-59.05%454