American Airlines resumes flights

American Airlines aircraft sit on the tarmac at LaGuardia airport following a reservation system outage in New YorkATLANTA — American Airlines said its systems were restored and flights had resumed after intermittent outages yesterday forced it to ground hundreds of US flights, but warned travellers to expect some cancellations to continue for a second day.

American, which operates more than 3,500 daily flights worldwide, said it saw no evidence that its technical problems were related to recent events in Boston, where bombings at the finish line of the city’s marathon on Monday killed three and injured many others .

The problem with the computer systems began in mid-morning and prompted American to ask the US Federal Aviation Administration to ground its flights until 4 p.m.

American, a unit of AMR Corp, said its systems were restored as of 3:30 p.m.

“Flights have resumed, but we expect cancellations and delays throughout the remainder of the day,” the carrier said in a statement.

In an updated statement the carrier said some cancellations were likely on Wednesday as well, although they would be few in number.

“Flights from our hubs and international flights having been re-started and we will reposition aircraft and crew throughout the evening,” it said.

Asked if there was a safety issue involved, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said American requested the flight halt based on its operational needs. Huerta added he was not aware of any suggestion that American’s computer systems had been hacked.

“Not that I’m aware of,” Huerta said when asked if American’s computer systems had been disabled by a cyber-attack.

Flight tracking service FlightAware said American had cancelled 720 flights, including 400 at Dallas/Fort Worth and 200 at Chicago, two of its major hub cities.

At Los Angeles International Airport, another key hub, airline staff began rebooking passengers by early afternoon, airport spokeswoman Nancy S. Castles said. (Reuters)

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