LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Southwest Airlines Wednesday grounded 20 percent of its fleet, including the cancellation of six flights at Southland airports, after dozens of planes missed inspections.
The airline made the announcement to ground 128 of its 700 planes — or a fifth of its fleet — late Tuesday night.
According to a Southwest spokesperson, the airline discovered the missed inspections and immediately notified federal safety regulators to begin checking planes.
“Once identified, Southwest immediately and voluntarily removed the affected aircraft from service,” the Dallas-based airline said in a statement.
The overdue inspections involved the standby hydraulic systems used to control the aircraft’s rudder if the main system fails.
The FAA has agreed to allow Southwest to keep flying the remainder of its fleet for a maximum of five days while inspections are completed.
“The safety of our customers and employees remains our highest priority and we are working quickly to resolve the situation,” Southwest said.
Locally, four flights have been canceled at LAX, one at Bob Hope International Airport in Burbank and three at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, according to Flightaware.com.
In 2008, the FAA fined the airline for failing to inspect dozens of planes for cracks in the fuselage.