BUSINESS BRIEFING / AIRLINES
Southwest Airlines Co. will pay a fine of $7.5 million for flying planes that had missed crucial safety checks -- $2.5 million less than government regulators initially ordered last year.
The agreement announced by the Federal Aviation Administration also gives the Dallas airline nearly two years to pay the fine in three installments of $2.5 million each.
The airline was fined for flying 46 airplanes on 59,791 flights without performing mandatory inspections for fuselage cracks. The planes, mostly Boeing 737s, carried an estimated 145,000 passengers.