All American Airlines flights in the U.S. have been grounded while the carrier tries to resolve computer-system malfunctions.
Airplanes will remain parked until at least 4 p.m. Dallas time, Michael Trevino, a spokesman for the Fort Worth, Texas- based airline, said in an e-mail. The grounding was unrelated to heightened security concerns after bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed three and injured more than 170.
“American’s network system is experiencing intermittent outages,” Trevino said, without providing further details. “We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience.”
The airline requested the nationwide “ground stop” on all its flights, Lynn Lunsford, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, said in an e-mail. More than 360 departures have been canceled so far, according to industry data tracker Flightstats.com.
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“It’s better to shut it down elegantly rather than have it fail spectacularly” and let delays pile up anyway, said Robert Mann, a former American Airlines executive who runs aviation consulting firm R.W. Mann & Co. in Port Washington, New York. “It’s a major inconvenience for customers and shippers across the system.”
The malfunction doesn’t involve airline booking and reservation systems provided by Southlake, Texas-based Sabre Holdings Corp., said Nancy St. Pierre, a Sabre spokeswoman. American apologized to Sabre in a Twitter posting after blaming the flight-booking service for the malfunction earlier.
The third-biggest U.S. airline, AMR Corp.’s American is operating in bankruptcy and preparing to merge with US Airways Group Inc.
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