American Airlines Boosts Cancelled Flights to 300

AMR, parent of American Airlines, said it cancelled 300 flights Wednesday, up from the 200 it earlier said it expected to cancel.

The airline said Wednesday morning that it voluntarily canceled about 200 flights — which accounted for 10 percent of scheduled takeoffs Wednesday — to check plane wiring as part of a national air worthiness directive by the Federal Aviation Administration.

But American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner told NBC News this afternoon that the airline has cancelled 300 flights so far to check on wiring bundles in its MD-80 planes.

"We are reinspecting the MD-80s to make sure the wiring is installed and secured exactly according to the directive," AMR said in a statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration last week launched an audit of maintenance records at all domestic airlines following alleged inspection lapses at Southwest Airlines that led the agency to propose a record fine of $10.2 million on March 6.

AMR said the inspections can take several hours per aircraft. Many of the checks have already been completed, and the aircraft are back in service. AMR said the other planes will return to service throughout the day.

AMR shares were trading down about 10 percent, near their low for the day, shortly before the final bell Wednesday.

Delta Also Sees Cancellations

Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines said late on Wednesday that it's reinspecting 133 planes to ensure compliance with the government directive on wiring inspections, and expects some cancellations.

A spokeswoman said the airline, acting voluntarily but after consulting with the FAA, is rechecking its entire MD-series fleet, including 117 MD-88s and 16 MD-90s.

The Delta action is related to the FAA order. Delta said it expected some flight cancellations but was not more specific.