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American, Delta schedules back to normal

/ Source: The Associated Press

American Airlines canceled a handful of flights on Friday as it finished up its inspections of wiring bundles on some of its planes, while Delta Air Lines resumed normal service after completing its inspections.

Four American flights were canceled out of the airline’s about 2,300 daily flights, American spokesman Tim Wagner said early Friday morning. He said that six planes were still being worked on.

“That’s pretty much as close to normal as you can get,” Wagner said.

Of the 300 aircraft inspected, 151 needed modified, he said.

Delta Air Lines Inc. spokeswoman Betsy Talton said the airline completed its inspections Thursday night and planned no cancellations for Friday.

“We will be running a normal schedule,” she said.

Delta said Thursday it would cancel 275 flights, affecting 3 percent of Delta’s worldwide flight schedule, to make the re-inspections.

American, the nation’s largest airline, canceled 141 flights by mid-afternoon Thursday, officials said. The Fort Worth-based airline canceled 318 flights Wednesday. American is part of AMR Corp.

At American, inspectors from the airline and the Federal Aviation Administration focused on fixing the spacing between cords used to secure bundles of wires in the auxiliary hydraulic systems of its MD-80 aircraft.

The inspections came almost three weeks after the FAA ordered a check of maintenance records at all U.S. airlines following criticism of the agency’s handling of missed fuselage inspections at Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co.

The FAA imposed a $10.2 million civil penalty on Southwest this month for missing the inspections and then continuing to fly the planes with passengers on board even after realizing the mistake. Southwest officials have said they repaired small cracks in the fuselages of six planes last year and four this month.

The FAA said it would check compliance with at least 10 safety orders at every U.S. airline by Friday. A more complete audit is due by the end of June.