Ryanair has grounded three planes due to cracks between the wing and fuselage, but has not disclosed it to the public.
Three of the airline’s Boeing 737s have been affected by so-called “pickle fork” cracks, which have led to 50 planes being grounded since 3 October across the aviation industry.
Last week, the airline said it did not expect the issue would “have any impact upon our operations or fleet availability”.
However, an investigation from the Guardian has revealed three Ryanair planes have been grounded due to so-called pickle fork cracks.
Internal Ryanair logs from the three grounded planes – all of which are more than 15 years old – list them as having cracks.
A Ryanair spokesperson told The Guardian “this tiny number of findings” would not “have any impact on our operations or our fleet availability.
They added that Ryanair had inspected all planes that had completed 30,000 flight cycles and was beginning to inspect all planes under this level.
A flight cycle is one take-off and one landing.
The revelation comes after the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) issued a directive for all Boeing 737 planes above 30,000 flight cycles to be inspected for pickle fork cracks within a week.
The FAA also told airlines to inspect all 737s that were between 22,600 and 30,000 flight cycles within the next seven months.
All three of the grounded Ryanair 737s stopped flying within the week of the authority’s 3 October announcement.
International airlines such as Qantas and Southwest have been affected by the issue, however they have disclosed the problem.
Qantas fast tracked its inspection process and checked all 737s that were between 22,600 and 30,000 flight cycles within a week.
Senior aerospace lecturer at the University of New South Wales told the Guardian that the cracks did not threaten safety.
“The fact that this incident occurred is not a scandal, it shows the industry is working as expected,” he said.