Southwest Airlines canceled about 40 flights on Sunday to free up aircraft for enhanced engine inspections after one of its jets suffered a catastrophic failure that killed a passenger last week. The company released a statement Sunday stating it canceled about 40 flights out of the 4,000 scheduled.
"On behalf of the entire Southwest Airlines Family, please accept our honest apologies for the circumstances surrounding Flight 1380 on Tuesday morning April 17th", the statement read in part.
CFM also recommended that fan blades with more than 20,000 cycles be inspected by the end of August - affecting an additional 2,500 engines. It is unclear how many of those delays were due to engine inspections.
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A recent number of cancellations are causing many Southwest travelers to triple check their flights. A cycle includes an engine start, takeoff, landing and shutdown. The accident that involved the CFM56 jet engine from flight 1380 took place on Tuesday over Pennsylvania just 20 minutes after take-off. "Our Technical Operations Team is working safely and diligently to accomplish the inspections as soon as possible, including during the overnight period", Southwest says.
A catastrophic engine failure on a Southwest Airlines flight from NY to Dallas killed one person and forced an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday in a terrifying ordeal for passengers.
In response to this week's tragedy, Southwest announced its own program for similar inspections of its 700-plane fleet over the next month.
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This led to debris breaking a window and causing the death of Riordan, who was sucked partway out of the 737 and later died from the trauma.
Officials reported that the plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia following the accident.
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