DALLAS — Federal regulators are seeking up to $162.4 million in fines against American Airlines and its affiliates for alleged safety violations going back several years. The sanctions would dwarf any previous penalties against an airline.
Many of the investigations had not been disclosed until the Federal Aviation Administration filed documents describing them to the court handling the bankruptcy case of American and its parent, AMR Corp. The documents underscore the scope and depth of the FAA’s concern about the maintenance program at American, the nation’s third-largest airline. They are coming to light just as American seeks to fix labor and financial problems and turn itself around after losing more than $10 billion since 2001.
‘‘Safety is fundamental to the success of American Airlines, and at no time did American operate an aircraft that was unsafe for flight,’’ AMR spokesman Michael Trevino said. But the pilots’ union said some of the FAA’s findings raised questions about flight safety.
AMR will try to reduce any penalties through negotiations, Trevino said — standard when the FAA proposes fines.
The largest single proposed fine spelled out in court documents is $39.3 million against American for allegedly failing to fix wiring work on its Boeing 757 aircraft in 2009.
AMR is talking to other airlines about possible mergers.