An airplane that was forced to land in southern Arizona, due to cracks that led to depressurization, and three more Southwest Airline planes have shown similar damage according to a Fox News report on Sunday.
Nineteen other planes have been checked by Southwest Airlines and were deemed safe and put back into use. However, with these safety checks over 600 flights were cancelled over the weekend according to the same Fox News report.
The Boeing models 737-300, the models of the damaged aircrafts, represent roughly 20 percent of Southwest's all-737 fleet according to MSNBC. The 737, globally, is the most popular aircraft used by airlines, not just Southwest.
The cracks that occured in Arizona and the other three planes are pretty common and are linked to age and pressurizations that have occured over the planes lifetime. According to MSNBC the jetliner that was forced to land in AZ had gone through around 39,000 cycles of pressurizing. Pressurization typically occurs during take-offs and landings.
However Southwest Airlines denied knowing about the cracks in the Arizona flight and reiterated it in a statement released to the public.
"What we saw with Flight 812 was a new and unknown issue," Mike Van de Ven, Southwest executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a statement reported by MSNBC. "Prior to the event... we were in compliance with the FAA-mandated and Boeing-recommended structural inspection requirements for that aircraft."