The Irish airline said in a statement Wednesday that inspections ordered by US regulators had turned up problems with a small number of its oldest 737s, which are now being repaired by Boeing.
The US Federal Aviation Administration ordered inspections of Boeing 737 NG, or Next Generation, aircraft in September after the company said structural cracks had been found on heavily used planes.
The cracking issue is the latest blow to Boeing (BA). All 737 Max jets, a newer version of the aircraft, have been grounded since March following two fatal crashes that killed 346 crew and passengers.
Ryanair (RYAAY) said Wednesday it has inspected more than 70 of its oldest 737 NG planes, discovering issues with an unspecified “tiny number” of them.
There are about 6,800 of the 737 NG jets in service around the world. Boeing said Wednesday that more than 1,100 of them have been inspected, and less than 5% have cracks.
All 737 NG planes with over 30,000 flight cycles have been inspected, according to Boeing. The FAA’s October directive gave airlines a year to inspect jets with at least 22,600 flights.
Boeing said in a recent statement that safety and quality are its top priorities.
“Boeing regrets the impact this issue is having on our customers worldwide,” said the aircraft maker. “We are working around the clock to provide the support needed to return all airplanes to service as soon as possible.”