American Airlines gets FAA clearance to return jets to service

April 12, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
American Airlines says federal aviation officials have cleared all but three of its grounded jets to return to service. The nation's largest airline has canceled nearly 3,300 flights since Tuesday as crews work to address safety concerns on 300 MD-80 jets. Mechanics are wrapping wiring bundles to meet federal safety standards designed to prevent fires.

American says it should return to normal operations this afternoon. A spokesman says by tomorrow morning, the MD-80s should be in position to operate a full day's schedule.

This week's flight cancellations stranded hundreds of thousands of passengers.

The groundings came as a surprise. American officials said they thought they had completed the needed repair work two weeks ago, when it scrubbed 400 flights. But the FAA said the wiring had not been secured and stowed properly.