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Qantas grounds 3 Boeing 737s due to hairline cracks

CANBERRA, Australia — Australian airline Qantas Airways says it has grounded three of its Boeing 737s over hairline cracks found in wing structures but expected to have them flying again this year.

The airline has been inspecting its aircraft following calls this month from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for all airlines to check Boeing 737 NG planes that had completed more than 30,000 takeoff and landing cycles for cracking in a part that helps keep wings attached. These are different than the 737 MAX jets, which were grounded worldwide earlier this year.

Qantas Domestic and Freight Chief Executive Andrew David said on Friday the airline has examined in a week all 33 jets of the fleet of 75 that had completed more than 22,600 cycles.

David says the airline will “have to make some minor schedule changes” while the aircraft were repaired.

The Associated Press