American Airlines today said it expects to complete inspections and return all 300 aircraft in its MD-80 fleet to service on Saturday. The inspections prompted the carrier to the cancel 922 flights today, 1,094 flights yesterday and 460 on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, American is enlisting a third-party firm to review the carrier's processes for complying with airworthiness directives. American Airlines chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey, during a call with media today, said the financial hit of the service disruptions "will be in the tens of millions of dollars. Fortunately we have worked hard for a lot of years here to build our liquidity base and pay down a lot of debt."
Arpey noted 123 of the MD-80 aircraft had returned to service, while the others are "being worked round the clock," adding, "It will take us several more days to get us up to speed and I can't anticipate any other hiccups." The carrier said it continues to accommodate passengers and offer refunds for cancelled flights.