The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has called for enhanced inspections of more than 130 older Boeing 737 planes, the Wall Street Journal said, citing a safety directive that is likely to be issued on Tuesday.

The FAA has asked for enhanced structural inspections to find possible cracks in the fuselage skin of the planes, according to the paper.

Undetected cracks could result in sudden fracture and failure of the fuselage skin panels, and consequent rapid decompression, the paper cited the FAA's safety directive as saying.

Boeing and the FAA could not be immediately reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

In July 2009, a 737 operated by Southwest Airlines developed a foot-wide hole and lost cabin pressure about 30 minutes after takeoff. Inspections in July revealed no problems with 737-300 jetliners flown by Southwest.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Lincoln Feast)