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American Airlines to cancel as many as 500 flights

Air TransportationAir Transportation IndustryTransportationTravelAmerican AirlinesLos Angeles International AirportUnited Airlines

American Airlines, the world's largest carrier, said it was canceling as many as 500 flights today and would probably cancel more Wednesday to ensure compliance with a Federal Aviation Administration directive.

The Fort Worth-based airline decided to cancel flights to reinspect the bundling of wires in its fleet of 300 MD-80s. American, which is the nation's largest operator of MD-80 planes, said the inspections were related to compliance, not safety, issues.

Fifteen flights were canceled out of Los Angeles International Airport as of midafternoon.

"We've been working in good faith to ensure that we are in complete compliance with this airworthiness directive," said Gerard Arpey, chief executive of American's parent company, AMR Corp. "We regret and apologize that we are once again causing inconvenience to our customers, but we will continue to work in good faith until we satisfy all of the technical issues related to this airworthiness directive."

Maintenance issues have taken on a higher profile at U.S. airports for weeks after the FAA assessed a $10.2-million fine against Southwest Airlines Co. on March 6 for missed safety inspections.

Since then, American Airlines, UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, Delta Air Lines Inc. and AMR unit American Eagle have conducted voluntary inspections in conjunction with the FAA's audit of aircraft maintenance records.

andrea.chang@latimes.com

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