All Boeing B737-NGs have been checked for cracks

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All Boeing B737-NGs have been checked for cracks

Korea’s Transport Ministry said Monday it has completed checkups on the country’s 151 B737-NG planes for structural cracks, while aiming to finish repair and replacement work on 13 faulty planes by January.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport discovered structural cracks on 13 B737-NG planes and immediately grounded them. A team of Boeing engineers flew to Seoul on Oct. 31 to help fix the problems.

The 13 planes include five from Korean Air Lines, three from Jin Air, three from Jeju Air and two from Eastar Jet.

One plane from Jin Air and another from Korean Air resumed service last week after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the ministry approved the outcome of the repair work through safety checks and test flights.

“U.S. engineers are now working on one Jin Air and one Korean Air B737-NG plane. We are targeting to complete the repair and replacement work on all of the 13 affected planes by the end of January,” a ministry official told Yonhap News Agency over the phone.

In early October, the FAA ordered aircraft operators to conduct checks on B737-NG airliners for structural cracks after Boeing discovered cracks on an aircraft undergoing modifications in China and notified the FAA of the issue.

Korea has two full-service carriers - Korean Air and Asiana Airlines - and seven low-cost carriers - Jeju Air, Jin Air, Air Busan, Air Seoul, Eastar Jet, T’way Air and Fly Gangwon. Asiana Airlines and its budget carriers do not operate B737-NGs.

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