American Airlines scrapped another 900 flights from take off on Thursday, pushing the total to 2,400 of canceled flights this week, as it continues to fix faulty wiring in hundreds of jets.
AMR Corp's airline moves into the third straight day of mass groundings, leaving around 250,000 passengers stranded. Company executives offered apologies and travel vouchers to calm angry passengers. The cancellations may persist until tomorrow.
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 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.
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.
By late Wednesday afternoon, 179 MD-80 aircraft had undergone complete inspection, forcing 60 of them to undergo a complete service check, while another 119 were still undergoing work. The airline said it still needs to inspect another 121 MD-80s
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.
Customers booked on canceled flights may request a full refund or credit toward future flights, American said on its Web site today.
The FAA audit was instigated by inspection and maintenance lapses at Southwest Airlines Co.