Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Southwest settles unsafe jet complaints

Carrier to pay $7.5 million after FAA finds 46 Boeing 737s were operated without inspections for cracks.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Southwest Airlines will pay $7.5 million to settle complaints that it flew unsafe aircraft, and the fine will double unless the airline completes additional safety measures within a year, federal regulators announced Monday.

The Federal Aviation Administration originally recommended more than $10 million in civil penalties in 2008 after finding Southwest (LUV, Fortune 500) operated 46 of its Boeing 737 jets on nearly 60,000 flights without performing mandatory inspections for fatigue cracks in their fuselages.

FAA documents obtained by CNN found that in some cases, Southwest aircraft flew for 30 months after government inspection deadlines had passed. A congressional panel concluded the planes were "not airworthy," and two FAA whistle-blowers said agency managers let the airline conduct the safety checks on a slower schedule to avoid disrupting flights.

The Dallas-based airline said it was happy to have settled "all outstanding issues with the FAA."

"This settlement with the FAA will allow us to focus on safety going forward, rather than on issues that are now behind us and that have already been addressed," it said in a written statement.

-- CNN's Mike M. Ahlers contributed to this report. To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
Your degree will earn you the most from these colleges Art majors can make big bucks, too. Find out which school has the highest paid grads in your major. More
10 most expensive cars sold at Pebble Beach auctions When cars are sold where the wealthiest car collectors gather, prices can go sky high. More
Top boutique hotels for business travelers These are some of the top boutique hotels used by business travelers, according to data from Booking.com. More
Sponsors