AA grounds MD-80 flights

American Airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights yesterday, as part of the effort to complete inspections on its MD-80 aircraft, and is working to re-accommodate the customers affected by this activity. On Tuesday, American canceled about 460 MD-80 flights.
“We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused our customers,” said Gerard Arpey, Chairman and CEO of American Airlines. “American will do whatever it takes to assist those affected by these flight changes and our employees are working hard to ensure that we remain their choice for air travel. This includes compensating those inconvenienced customers who stayed overnight in a location away from their final destination.”
The inspections of American’s MD-80 fleet were conducted to ensure precise and complete compliance with a Federal Aviation Administration directive related to the bundling of wires in the wheel well of the aircraft.  American has assigned a team of employees—aviation maintenance technicians, quality assurance inspectors, and engineers—to inspect the aircraft and ensure full technical compliance, as well as to make any additional adjustments.  In addition, the FAA is inspecting the aircraft that have been cleared to return to service.
“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,” Arpey said.
American also plans to contract with an independent third party to review American’s processes for compliance with all future FAA airworthiness directives. This work will ensure that all procedures strictly adhere to the technical elements of every directive so American can avoid this type of schedule disruption in the future.
Customers who were inconvenienced with overnight stays can go to AA.com today where a link will guide them to instructions on how to receive compensation. Customers also are encouraged to check AA.com or to contact their travel agents for flight status information.
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