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Southwest CEO Apologizes for Safety Lapse

March 14, 2008 02:35 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Southwest CEO Gary Kelly apologizes for the airline’s safety lapses just days after vowing to challenge the $10.2 million fine sought by the FAA.

30-Second Summary

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Kelly has apologized to customers and regulators for inspection lapses that compromised the airline’s safety.

Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration announced plans to seek a record fine of $10.2 million against Southwest for allegedly operating thousands of flights without conducting routine inspections.

At first, Kelly criticized the FAA’s report and said Southwest planned to challenge the fine.

But in an interview just days after those remarks, Kelly changed his tone. "I am not satisfied we are as compliant" with maintenance requirements "or as safe as we could be," he said. "We will certainly be very cooperative in working with the FAA," he added.

Southwest is already working to repair its damaged reputation with the public, and has tackled the practical matter of conducting missed inspections.

The airline resumed normal operations Thursday, a day after canceling 126 flights while “it hurriedly performed overlooked inspections on several dozen jets,” The Dallas Morning News reports.

Headline Links: Southwest CEO apologizes for safety lapses

Reaction: Kelly's Initial Reaction and the FAA's side

Related Topic: Southwest’s ratings not affected by safety issues

Background: The FAA’s report and Southwest’s reputation

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