Southwest Airlines, which grounded 79 older Boeing 737 aircraft over the weekend for inspection, appears to be flying its full schedule today from Sea-Tac Airport.
FlightStats.com reports no scheduled cancellations among the 37 flights scheduled today from Sea-Tac. Southwest flies non-stop from Sea-Tac to Oakland, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Spokane, Chicago, St. Louis, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Boise and Denver.
The groundings, to enable the airline to inspect the aircrafts' outer skin and frames for cracking, resulted in the cancellation of some 600 Southwest flights nationwide since Friday.
That's when a Southwest flight from Phoenix to Sacramento experienced a sudden decompression at cruising altitude when a five-foot-long section of the Boeing 737-300's outer skin peeled off in flight.
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The pilots made a quick descent to a lower altitude to allow passengers adequate oxygen to breathe and then made an emergency landing at the Yuma, Ariz. airport. When the aluminum skin separated from the aircraft's ceiling, oxygen masks descended to allow passengers to breathe until the plane reached a lower altitude.
Subsequent inspections of like aircraft uncovered two more Southwest planes with fatigue cracks. Boeing, Southwest, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating why the cracks occurred.
The 737-300 involved in the no-injuries incident was 15 years old and had more than 40,000 landings and takeoffs. The plane had skin and frame cracks reported last year that were subsequently repaired.