Key Points:

  • Southwest Airlines removed dubious components from a Boeing 737 NG engine following a supplier's alert.

  • The carrier replaced two low-pressure turbine blades from AOG Technics amidst a backdrop of concerns over falsified documentation.

  • European regulators discovered that AOG had provided parts with fake paperwork for the widely-used CFM56 engines.

Southwest Airlines Acts on Supplier Alert to Replace Controversial Engine Parts

DALLAS —Southwest Airlines has acted promptly to replace certain components in one of its aircraft engines after being alerted by suppliers about the potential use of "suspect parts." The airline confirmed on Friday through an email statement that it had undertaken this measure, making it the inaugural major carrier to openly acknowledge the use of such parts on a commercial jet.

The problematic components identified were a set of low-pressure turbine blades found in a Boeing 737 NG engine. The parts were sourced from AOG Technics and have been replaced as a precautionary move to ensure safety, the carrier noted. Although the suppliers who notified Southwest remained unnamed, the company has taken this step to forestall any potential issues that might arise due to the said parts.

In an unfolding scenario involving AOG Technics, regulators in Europe found that the company had supplied parts for the CFM56 engines repair process backed by falsified documents. These engines hold the distinction of being the top-selling turbines globally. The revelation, which surfaced last week through a report by Bloomberg News, highlighted the seriousness of the issue and potentially implicated a broader array of aviation stakeholders given the prevalent use of these engines.

This proactive measure by Southwest comes amidst growing concerns over the authenticity of parts used in aircraft engines, raising alarms in the aviation industry. The move to replace the questionable blades stands as a testament to the airline's commitment to ensuring the utmost safety and adhering to stringent regulatory norms, aiming to foster trust and security in aviation operations.