American's problems grounded in FAA

An American Airlines arrivals list at LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey says he takes full responsibility for flight cancellations as a result of grounded American Airlines MD-80 aircraft during a press conference April 10, 2008, in Fort Worth, Texas.

TEXT OF STORY

KAI RYSSDAL: Today's day three of delays for passengers on American Airlines. The country's biggest carrier has cancelled 2,500 flights over the past 72 hours as it tries to get right with a Federal Aviation Administration maintenance and inspection audit.

CEO Gerald Arpey got on the phone with reporters today to say, in essence, that he was sorry. He also said the whole debacle's going to cost the company in the tens of millions of dollars.

On Capitol Hill, Senator Jay Rockefeller was chairing a committee hearing on the cancellations and aviation safety. He put the blame squarely on the FAA.

JAY ROCKEFELLER: The FAA is an agency spiraling downward, and I think approaching the losing of the confidence of the American people and of the Congress.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey says he takes full responsibility for flight cancellations as a result of grounded American Airlines MD-80 aircraft during a press conference April 10, 2008, in Fort Worth, Texas.

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