Samoa Airways moves following Qantas planes grounding
The Chief Executive Officer of Samoa Airways, Seiuli Alvin Tuala, has reassured travellers about the safety of the Air Malindo aircraft the airline is using.
The reassurance follows reports about “structural cracks” recently discovered on the Boeing 737 fleet belonging to Qantas Airways.
Samoa Airways is using an Air Malindo Boeing 737-800 NG to service its flights to New Zealand and Australia.
In response to queries from the Samoa Observer, Seiuli said they have already met with Air Malindo to discuss the concerns following the Qantas reports.
“We discussed with our carrier and our team - the Malindo fleet of B737 aircrafts are below 11,000 (flight) cycles,” said Seiuli.
“The AD (Advisory Directive) inspection mandates by 22600 cycles. This means cycles before any checks but we have done all these checks now.”
A flight cycle is one take off and landing – with most commercial planes going through roughly 1,700 cycles a year.
The C.E.O. assured that Samoa Airways has been proactive and have planned for further inspection at the next check.
According to the Guardian, Qantas grounded three of its Boeing 737s after cracks were found in a part of the plane known as the “pickle fork”.
The plane – the 737-NG – is one of the most commonly used models in the world, with over 7,000 in service globally.
The Guardian reported that so far, 50 aircrafts around the world have been found with cracks, including nine in South Korea and three belonging to Southwest Airlines in the US.
The Australian aircraft engineers union has called on Qantas to ground all of its 737s.
There are about 6,800 of the 737 NG jets in service around the world. Their model names are the 737-700, 737-800 and 737-900.
The Boeing 737 NG is an older version of the company's 737 MAX aircraft.
All 737 MAX planes have been grounded since March after two fatal crashes killed 346 crew and passengers, putting the company's safety record under the spotlight.
On Friday, Qantas confirmed that it had pulled three 737 NG planes from service after they "were found to have a hairline crack."
"These aircraft have been removed from service for repair," the company said in a statement.
Boeing said in a statement earlier this month that safety and quality are its top priorities.
"Boeing regrets the impact this issue is having on our customers worldwide," said the aircraft maker. "We are working around the clock to provide the support needed to return all airplanes to service as soon as possible."