American Airlines expected to cancel more flights today — and perhaps beyond — as it tried for a second time to comply with federal rules about wiring on about 300 of its planes.
Flight 2065 and Flight 2413, both traveling this morning from Will Rogers World Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, have been canceled, according to Will Rogers' Web site. Flight 2065 was scheduled to depart at 6:05 a.m.; Flight 2413 was scheduled to depart at 7:40 a.m.
No flights departing from Tulsa International Airport have been canceled, according to the airport's Web site.
Flights traveling this morning from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Will Rogers World Airport and Tulsa International Airport have also been canceled.
Flight 1352 was scheduled to arrive at 11:04 a.m. in Oklahoma City. Flight 1632 was scheduled to arrive in Tulsa at 10:45 a.m.
Airline officials said they canceled about 500 flights Tuesday but didn't know how many would be scrubbed Wednesday. It depended on how quickly the airline could inspect and, if necessary, rework the wiring in its MD-80 aircraft.
American operates about 2,300 daily flights, and more than one-third use MD-80s, most commonly on midrange flights from hub airports in Dallas and Chicago.
It was American's second bout with mass cancellations in less than two weeks for failing to meet the same wiring rules set by the Federal Aviation Administration, which is cracking down on airlines after admitting its inspectors were too lax last year with Southwest Airlines Co.
Since the FAA began looking more closely at airlines' compliance with safety directives, there have been cancellations at Southwest, Delta Air Lines Inc. and UAL Corp.'s United Airlines. The agency levied a $10.2 million civil penalty against Southwest for using planes that had missed inspections for cracks in the fuselage.
Tim Wagner, a spokesman for American, said an FAA inspector checked several MD-80s Monday and found that some of the wiring work performed two weeks ago didn't meet FAA standards. At issue: the spacing and direction of cords used to secure bundles of wires in the planes' auxiliary hydraulic systems.
The airline said flight safety was never compromised, but, beginning around mid-afternoon Tuesday, American began yanking planes out of service so that wiring bundles could be inspected and stowed properly in the wheel wells.
Gerard Arpey, the chief executive of American and its parent, AMR Corp., apologized for the inconvenience and said the airline was working to comply with FAA orders.
The Fort Worth-based airline said it would put displaced travelers on other American flights or those operated by competitors. Wagner said that because the delays were "within our control" and not weather-related, American was offering meals, lodging and ground transportation to affected travelers.
The cancellations and resulting loss of revenue could hardly come at a worse time for American, which is facing high fuel prices and a weakening economy that could hurt demand for travel.