Southwest nears completion of repairs on grounded 737s

Southwest Airlines says four out of five 737s found to have tiny subsurface cracks will be repaired and back in service by the weekend. With the advice of Boeing, the planes' manufacturer, Southwest is replacing an 18-inch section of roofline along the lap joint, where parts of the fuselage come together. Each repair takes eight to 16 hours to complete, and the carrier is operating its full schedule while the planes are grounded. The fifth plane will undergo additional, previously scheduled maintenance before returning to service, Southwest said.

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