American progresses on 757 seat repairs

Atlanta
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American Airlines has completed repairs to the majority of its Boeing 757s that are affected by faulty seat clamps, and is on track to return all of the aircraft to service by 6 October.

The Fort Worth-based Oneworld carrier says that it had completed the installation of extra metal ties to the seat clamps on 42 of the 48 affected 757-200s as of 12:00 US central time today, and returned the aircraft to service.

"We have identified the issue, and our maintenance teams are securing an FAA [US Federal Aviation Administration]-approved locking mechanism to ensure no seat can be dislodged," says American.

The airline began installing the ties as back-ups to the seat lock plunger mechanism, which secures the rows of seats to the floor of the aircraft on some of its 757s, on 4 October.

The move came after two rows of seats came loose multiple times in-flight on two of its 757s since 26 September.

The decision to pull the 757s from service for the modifications added to American's on-going operational woes. Since 30 September, 66% of its flights have arrived on-time with 212 cancelled, according to FlightStats.com.

The carrier has seen an uptick in maintenance reports by its pilots, as a contract dispute with the employees' union continues.

American says that both its in-house maintenance employees and third-party maintenance providers worked on the 757s involved.

TIMCO, which the Transport Workers Union indicated worked the aircraft involved, has declined to comment.