American Gets Half of MD-80s Flying

Will cancel another 200, but aims to be on track in 24 hours
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2008 6:55 PM CDT
American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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(Newser) – American Airlines flew about half of its MD-80s on schedule today but will ground another 200 for inspections tomorrow morning, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Execs said that all planes should be back on track by tomorrow night. CEO Gerard Arpey accepted blame for the groundings that have canceled 3,000 flights, saying, "We were not in technical compliance, and that is our failure.”

But a union official blasted the Federal Aviation Administration, calling its regulations for wiring in MD-80 aircraft a “moving target.” "Hundreds of highly trained FAA award-winning technicians, the best in the business, with decades of experience, didn't simply get it wrong," he said. AA has not yet punished any workers, who are working at all hours to make its planes FAA-compliant.