American Airlines has reported its domestic services back to normal following the cancellation of 3,000 flights last week when its entire fleet of MD-80 aircraft were grounded.
The cancellations caused chaos at the carriers’ hub airports, Chicago O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth, amid growing concern about airline safety in the US.
Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways have also cancelled flights in the past fortnight and low-cost carrier Southwest was recently fined $10 million for flying aircraft more than two years after they were due a safety inspection.
The Federal Aviation Administration has announced spot checks on all safety-check paperwork after being criticised for being lax. US transportation department inspector-general Calvin Scovel has accused the FAA of an “overly collaborative” relationship with airlines.
American Airlines operates 300 of the aging MD-80s.