FAA Starts Airbus Inspections, But Carriers Not Hurt

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The Federal Aviation Administration's inspections of Airbus 300 aircraft are expected to have little effect on carrier service levels.


Insiders were concerned that the FAA would require FedEx or UPS to take these planes out of operation so the inspections could be performed. Almost 24 percent of FedEx's fleet and about 7 percent of UPS' consist of different types of A300s. However, no disruptions to service levels have occurred, representatives for both carriers said.


The FAA began visual inspections of the tail fins of Airbus 300s as a result of the Nov. 12 crash of an American Airlines A300 as it took off from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.


Edward M. Wolfe, a transportation analyst at Bear Stearns & Co., New York, said, "At this point it seems clear that inspections will be visual by the companies and have little impact either financially or operationally to the carriers."


However, Wolfe said he would "keep monitoring the situation for new developments, which could occur."


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