American Airlines to secure seats on 48 of its planes

NEW YORK Thu Oct 4, 2012 9:22pm EDT

NEW YORK Oct 4 (Reuters) - American Airlines warned of some flight delays and cancellations while it works to secure the seats on 48 of its Boeing 7 5 7 planes after some seats came loose earlier this week.

The company, whose parent AMR Corp filed for bankruptcy protection in November, said on Thursday that it expects the enhancement of locking mechanisms used to secure the seats to aircraft floors to be completed by Saturday.

American said it is working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to resolve the issue, which started last Saturday after a row of seats came loose during a flight.

The flight delays follow a litany of disruptions at the airline, which is also grappling with labor unrest. American's pilots were expected to vote to authorize their union to call a strike this week.

The company has asked its mechanics to pay particular attention to the seat-lock plunger mechanism that secures the seat to the aircraft floor, according to an emailed statement attributed to spokeswoman Andrea Huguely on Thursday.

"Mechanics have begun taking steps necessary to ensure that no seat can become dislodged from its track," Huguely said.

It will start work on each of the 48 planes when they land at their next destination, and the planes will then stay on the ground until the work is completed, the airline said.

The average age of American's 757 fleet is 17 years, according to the company. Just over 100 of its planes are 757s but only 48 use the seat model that has caused problems.

The company had said on Oct 1 that it was temporarily grounding eight planes to investigate problems with seats discovered on two planes.

On Oct 3, the airline said that an internal investigation had revealed improperly installed clamps had caused seats to loosen in six of its aircraft and that it would inspect the seats in other planes.

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