By Dave Sebastian 

Boeing Co. said it has flagged a potential electrical issue in certain 737 MAX aircraft, asking 16 customers to address it before further operations.

The disclosure of the possible flaw comes as the U.S. late last year approved the company's 737 MAX airplanes for passenger flights again after dual crashes killed 346 people. The troubled jets had been grounded since March 2019.

Boeing on Friday said it is working with the Federal Aviation Administration on the production issue and has informed customers of specific tail numbers. The company will provide guidance on corrective actions, it said.

The company said it has asked those customers to verify "that a sufficient ground path exists for a component of the electrical power system."

Accident investigators have said misfires of an automated flight-control system, called MCAS, led to the crashes of Indonesia's Lion Air in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines in March 2019, when regulators grounded the MAX world-wide. Boeing spent the past few years hammering out fixes to the system, revising pilot training and making related changes while responding to demands from world regulators.

Southwest Airlines Co. said it has removed 30 737 MAX 8 aircraft that were affected by the notification. The airline said it would review them and swap any flights previously scheduled with the aircraft.

"Southwest experienced any known operational challenges related to the issue," the company said. "Southwest anticipates minimal disruption to our operation."

--has not

The airline, which has up to 15 MAX aircraft scheduled to fly each day, last month said it was buying 100 new 737 MAX jets, a boost for the plane maker that has lost hundreds of orders amid the jet's prolonged grounding and reduced demand for travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alison Sider contributed to this article.

Write to Dave Sebastian at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 09, 2021 08:59 ET (12:59 GMT)

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