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The Wall Street Journal: Southwest suggests grounded planes tied to labor dispute

Southwest Airlines Co. said it would investigate whether a dispute with its mechanics union was causing maintenance delays that have led to grounded planes and canceled flights.

The airline said that over 40 of its roughly 750 aircraft have been taken out of service in recent days — twice the number of aircraft typically undergoing maintenance at one time. Southwest LUV, -0.05% , the largest U.S. domestic carrier, scrapped nearly 200 flights Tuesday. Hundreds more were delayed.

Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven said Tuesday evening in a statement that the surge in out-of-service aircraft followed the latest round of contract negotiations between the airline and the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association.

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