U.S. passengers continued to experience travel disruptions after American Airlines scrapped another 570 flights on Friday and more are expected on Saturday.
AMR Corp's airline has canceled 2,400 of flights this week, as it continues to fix faulty wiring in hundreds of planes. Over 273,000 passengers have been left stranded, while company executives offered apologies and travel vouchers to calm angry passengers.
Chief Executive Gerard Arpey said American is trying to stay ahead of the problem as best we can but inspections and related work takes time.
American, the nation's largest carrier, claims it had no choice'' in grounding almost half its fleet of Boeing Co. MD-80 jets, after the aircrafts once again failed to meet a U.S. safety order.
The Federal Aviation Administration must inspect each plane before it returns to service.
Arpey did not confirm the extent of the financial impact the disruption has had so far, but said he believes it will be in the tens of millions of dollars.
AMR rose 70 cents, or 7.6 percent, to $9.87 at the end of composite trading. The shares have plunged 69 percent in the past year.
The spot checks, based on Federal Aviation Administration audits, consist of technical compliance tests and not safety issues. The FAA said American Airlines had failed to secure some wiring in accordance with an agency directive.
It's my fault, Arpey said in a news conference on Thursday. We failed to fix it.
Passengers are having difficulty finding seats on other flights, either on American or on rival carriers, because the airline industry is running more than 80 percent full these days.
American said travelers can re-book for free and if they are stranded overnight or away from home, they will be offered free hotel accommodation.
AA has faced record fuel prices and fear of a recession, leaving analysts predicting that its parent, AMR Corp., has lost over $300 million in the first three months of the year.
The airline estimates that more than 100 passengers would have been on each of those canceled flights. This means a quarter-million people have had flight disruptions since Tuesday.
The FAA audit was instigated by inspection and maintenance lapses at Southwest Airlines Co.