Asian carriers begin 737 checks

Singapore
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Some Asian carriers operating Boeing 737 Classics have begun aircraft checks following a service bulletin issued by Boeing in the wake of the Southwest Airlines 737 decompression incident.

The airframer's service bulletin, which affects operators of about 175 737-300/400/500s, called for inspections on the aircraft's fuselage structure. These 175 aircraft fell into the line number range of 2553 to 3132, and had more than 30,000 cycles.

According to Flightglobal's ACAS database, at least 13 Asian airlines operated 737 Classics that fell into this category.

China Eastern Airlines, which operates four such aircraft, says it carried out checks on its aircraft following the Southwest incident on 1 April. "The checks did not find any abnormality," says a China Eastern spokesman.

Garuda Indonesia, which operates 14 737 Classics, is carrying out checks on five of the aircraft. An airline spokesman says the aircraft have not been grounded and checks so far have not revealed any issues.

Indonesian carrier Merpati Nusantara Airlines, which operates at least one aircraft that requires the inspections, is carrying out internal discussions on how to proceed with the checks, says an airline official. "We expect to make a decision within one to two days," he adds.