Published on Friday, September 18, 2020

Half of Southwest Airlines grounded jets now back in service

Southwest Airlines says half of its 115 Boeing 737-800 aircraft have returned to service after being grounded over weight data discrepancies.

The airline said it grounded the planes after discovering inconsistencies in aircraft weight data.

It said earlier this week 'out of an abundance of caution, we have temporarily ceased flying the respective aircraft to enter the correct weights of the aircraft in question into the system and reset the program.'

Weight and balance data is key to determine how many passengers and how much fuel can be safely carried.

It said the impact on services would be 'minimal' but cancellations or delays were possible.

Earlier this year the FAA proposed a $3.92 million fine for the airline for alleged weight discrepancies on more than 20,000 flights operated in 2018.

The FAA alleged Southwest calculated the wrong operational empty weights.

The FAA itself was rebuked in a Department of Transportation report which allowed the airline 'to continue reporting inaccurate and non-compliant weight and balance data.'


Written by Ray Montgomery, US editor

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