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October 03, 2012

American says it completed inspections of 48 Boeing 757s for loose seats, all planes back in service

American Airlines said it has finished inspecting 48 Boeing 757 aircraft for possible loose seats.

The Fort Worth-based carrier said that all of the aircraft are back in service but did not say how many of the inspected planes had loose seats. On Tuesday, American said it had identified six planes with loose seat issues.

"Over the next few weeks we will continue to work with the FAA and all manufacturers involved to review the corrective action taken," American spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said. "We believe a contributing factor is with the seat tracking and locking mechanism, not with where the work was performed."

The problem with loose seats first came to light on Saturday when American flight 685 from Boston to Miami had to make an emergency landing at New York's JFK airport after a row of three seats came loose mid-flight. Another aircraft had a similar problem on Monday, prompting the inspections.

The Transport Workers Union, which represents American's mechanics, said the seat problem did not stem from labor issues but instead were the result of outsourcing maintenance work.

Huguely said the carrier has the "utmost confidence" in its maintenance teams and contract workers. She added the safety and reliability of its fleet is of "paramount importance" to the company.

Keep reading for the full statement from Huguely.

-Andrea Ahles

American Airlines has completed inspections of 48 Boeing 757 aircraft that were involved with a recent seats-related issue. We have worked very closely with the FAA on a corrective action plan and all necessary repairs have been made on the aircraft that were inspected. All 48 aircraft are back in service.

Over the next few weeks we will continue to work with the FAA and all manufacturers involved to review the corrective action taken. We believe a contributing factor is with the seat tracking and locking mechanism, not with where the work was performed.

While American Airlines employees and third-party contractors have worked on the 757 aircraft involved, we have the utmost confidence in our highly skilled maintenance and engineering teams as well our contract maintenance providers.

The safety and reliability of the fleet is of paramount importance to American. We never have, and never will, compromise the safety and reliability of our fleet.

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