Southwest Airlines runs its planes hard. They make many short hops and more trips per day than other U.S. airliners, which adds to wear and tear on parts, including the engines.
As the investigation into last week's deadly engine failure continues, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly could face questions about whether the company's low-cost business model — which puts its planes through frequent takeoffs and landings — is putting passengers at risk.
Some aviation safety experts said they see no reason for alarm. And, in fact, Southwest's safety record is enviable: Until last week, no passenger had died in an accident during its 47-year history.
Still, the Dallas-based airline has...