American Airlines continued to cancel flights on Wednesday, pushing the number to 1,000 flights, or nearly half of its schedule, leaving thousands of passenger schedules disrupted and putting pressure on the airlines finances.
The carrier on Tuesday canceled 460 MD-80 flights to inspect wire bundling in the aircraft wheel wells to ensure precise and complete compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration's airworthiness directive, but said it is not a safety-of-flight issue.
We continue to inspect every airplane to ensure we are in total agreement with the specifications of the directive. We will get back to a full schedule as quickly as possible, AA CEO Gerard Arpey said in a statement Wednesday.
Delays at the Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago's O'Hart airports affected passengers the most oday by the re-inspections. Travelers in St. Louis, Austin and at New York's LaGuardia airport were also affected.
The airline owned by the AMR Corporation said in a statement on Tuesday that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) raised new concerns about recent wiring inspections in its fleet of 300 MD-80s, which resulted in canceled flights two weeks ago. Almost half of AMR's fleet consists of MD-80s.
American said it expects cancellations to continue on Thursday and maybe beyond as the airline works to get planes and flight crews back into place to allow its normal flight schedule to resume.
The Fort Worth-based airline said it will re-accommodate passengers on other American flights, or flights operated by airlines in the same market. Passengers might be alerted of cancellations and should also check with travel agents or on the airline's Web site, American said.
The inspections are part of the second phase of an industry-wide examination of compliance with safety directives. The audit was instigate by inspection and maintenance lapses at Southwest Airlines Co.
American and Delta canceled more than 700 flights March 26 and 27 for the earlier round of MD-80 inspections as the FAA tightened scrutiny of airline-industry maintenance.