By Alison Sider 

Southwest Airlines. Co. has temporarily grounded 115 planes, citing discrepancies in data on the jets' weights.

The airline said late Wednesday that it had found a 75-pound discrepancy between the weight data sent to its dispatch team and other weight records for the Boeing 737-800 jets. Southwest said it had stopped flying the planes out of an abundance of caution to enter correct data into its system and reset the program.

Those weight-related metrics are among the data used to determine how many passengers and how much fuel can be carried, and how to distribute cargo. The airline originally believed the issue affected 130 planes, but revised that overnight.

Southwest said the grounding will cause some delays and cancellations, but said it expects the impact to its operation to be minimal. An airline spokesman said Southwest is making steady progress resolving the issue and has returned a couple dozen of the planes back to service.

The Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year proposed a $3.92 million penalty against Southwest, alleging that it had operated dozens of planes with incorrect data on their operational empty weights and related measures in 2018.

Southwest has nearly 750 planes in its fleet, including 34 Boeing 737 MAX jets that have been grounded since last year following two fatal crashes.

Write to Alison Sider at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 17, 2020 10:32 ET (14:32 GMT)

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