October 25, 2019 / 3:27 AM / 19 days ago

South Korea grounds nine Boeing 737 NG planes with cracks

FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is displayed on a screen, at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s transport ministry on Friday said nine Boeing Co (BA.N) 737 NG planes in the country had been grounded after checks found structural cracks requiring repairs.

The suspension follows an order from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration earlier this month for aircraft operators to inspect older Boeing 737 NGs for structural cracks.

Boeing on Oct. 11 said inspections of 810 of the planes globally had led to 38 requiring repair.

South Korea said it found nine planes with cracks among 42 planes examined.

Among the nine grounded planes are five operated by Korean Air Lines (003490.KS), according to the transport ministry.

The 737 NG is the third-generation 737 and version before the now-grounded 737 MAX, which is not impacted by the cracking issue.

A Korean Air spokesman said the carrier has 18 737 NG aircraft and will replace the five short-range airplanes with other jets.

Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Ju-min Park and Richard Borsuk

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