Following the discovery of cracks on two Boeing 717s, the planemaker and Southwest Airlines have asked the FAA for additional time to inspect the 717s owned by AirTran, which Southwest recently acquired in a merger. Boeing is not saying what airline is flying the airplanes on which the cracks were discovered, but only AirTran and Hawaiian Airlines operate the model.
The FAA had proposed the completion of inspections on all of the aircraft in use within 90 days after airframe cracks were found. But Southwest says it needs additional time for Boeing to supply it with replacement kits needed for repairs.
Southwest had recently announced a plan to lease the AirTran 717s to Delta Airlines. It is not clear what affect, if any, the inspections and subsequent repairs will have on that agreement.