American Airlines canceled 850 more flights on Wednesday as it re-inspects the wiring on its MD-80 jets, stranding thousands of passengers and putting pressure on the airlines finances.
The cancellations at the world's largest airline began late Tuesday afternoon, when American canceled 500 flights. An airline spokesman said there were about 30 MD-80s in service on Wednesday morning while more were expected to resume flying later in the day.
The situation is fluid though, and that is why we have gone ahead and canceled the 850, spokesman Tim Wagner said. We do not know at this point if that number will climb, but it might.
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 instigated 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 imposed stricter measures on airline-industry maintenance.