The best Delta Airlines fleet is in dispute after it was revealed that some of the most popular Southwest Airlines jets were not actually Delta’s.
The FAA ruled that Southwest Airlines and its subsidiaries are not “required to make their own aircraft available for inspection,” according to a letter sent by the FAA to Southwest’s chief operating officer.
In addition, Southwest’s jets were also not inspected at the time.
The agency noted that it “was not aware of any prior incidents involving the certification of a Delta Air Line jet,” but that Southwest was unable to provide any evidence to back up its claim.
This is what Southwest’s Chief Operating Officer, Tom Leong, said when he spoke with The Verge at a Delta event earlier this week.
The airline has since denied that it is violating the Federal Aviation Administration’s certification requirements.
The letter states that Southwest has not been required to provide evidence of compliance with FAA certification requirements, but the FAA is investigating.
The FAA has also launched an investigation into the certification process at Southwest.
In a letter to Southwest dated June 8, the agency said that it has requested “information from the parties involved in this matter” and that “any further information requested by the agency will be considered confidential.”
If the FAA does not receive any additional information, it will decide whether Southwest should be required to comply with FAA requirements.
In a statement, Southwest spokesman Steve McBride said the FAA’s letter is “deeply troubling.”
He added that the FAA “does not require certification from a particular company or aircraft,” and that he hopes that the agency “will conduct an investigation of the matter.”
In addition to the controversy over Delta’s jets, the FAA also said that Southwest and its partners violated several certification rules.
“The FAA believes that the certification processes for Southwest, Southwest Jet Airways and Delta Airline were flawed in some way,” the agency wrote.
“While Southwest did not produce any documents, the airline does provide documents to the FAA.”
Additionally, the letter noted that “there are no rules requiring Southwest to provide documentation to the agency in order to certify its aircraft as having been certified by the U.S. government.”
The Delta Air line, which includes JetBlue and American, has faced several regulatory headaches in recent years.
Delta was fined $2.6 million by the Federal Trade Commission for failing to comply with its airworthiness certification standards, the airline also agreed to pay $2 million to settle a complaint against it, and was fined $1.6 billion by the Securities and Exchange Commission for violating anti-trust laws.
This story has been updated to clarify that the letter from the FAA was sent to Southwest, not Delta.