Yesterday I blogged on the safety allegations against Southwest airlines. Today, I’ve got a bit more news to report on this developing case.
Namely, Southwest is posed to be hit with the largest safety-related fine in the history of commercial aviation. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is looking to charge the low-cost carrier $10.2 million for their dangerous errors. The unprecedented sum points toward the severity of the allegations against the airline.
Specifically, the FAA purports that Southwest flew 46 Boeing 737s on nearly 60,000 flights between June 18, 2006 and March 14, 2007 without performing the mandatory and recurring inspections of the fuselage. Fatigue cracking caused an Aloha Airlines 737 to drop the upper part of its fuselage in-flight on April 28, 1988. In this tragic case, a flight attendant was sucked out of the aircraft, and 65 others were injured before Flight 243 made a miraculous landing at Maui.
Furthermore, Southwest was cognizant of their failure by March 23 of last year, though it continued to fly those 46 Boeing 737s on 1,451 more flights.
Ironically, Southwest has had only one fatal crash, in which one person on the ground died.
To read a more complete account of this case, including statistics on other airlines and statements from Southwest, please the Cheapflights.com flight and travel news stories.