American, Eagle Cancel 460 D-FW Flights on Tornadoes, Hail

American Airlines and regional carrier American Eagle canceled about 460 flights into and out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport today as tornadoes, hail and thunderstorms moved through the area.

“We’re pretty well out of the flying business for the rest of the day today,” Tim Smith, an American spokesman, said in an interview. “Virtually all of our inbound flights will not take off and arrive this evening.”

Several tornadoes, baseball-sized hail and thunderstorms moved through the area today, according to the National Weather Service. Flights into the airport were halted about 1:30 p.m. local time. American and American Eagle are units of Fort Worth- based AMR Corp. (AAMRQ)

Because of the weather, at least 101 American and Eagle aircraft must undergo hail inspections before they can be flown, Smith said. Forty-eight flights headed for the airport were diverted before they could arrive, he said. Buildings at the airport were also being checked for damage, said David Magana, a spokesman.

As the storm neared the airport, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration air-traffic controllers briefed pilots about weather cells moving through the area, the agency said in an e- mailed statement.

“All of the pilots in aircraft waiting to take off elected to stay on the airfield,” the agency said in the statement.

Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) canceled 25 flights from Dallas Love Field Airport and some flights were diverted before arriving, said Brandy King, a spokeswoman for the carrier. Southwest has no reports of hail damage, she said.

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