American Airlines Group Inc. has been fined $4.1 million by the Department of Transportation for failing to allow thousands of passengers to deplane during lengthy delays on the tarmac. This is the largest penalty ever imposed on an airline for violating the tarmac-delay rule.
Violation of Tarmac-Delay Rule
According to the Department of Transportation, American Airlines kept “dozens of flights” stranded on the tarmac for extended periods without giving passengers the opportunity to deplane. This violation goes against the regulations that require airlines to allow passengers to disembark in the case of delays lasting three or more hours on domestic flights.
Despite the penalty, American’s stock (AAL, +0.51%) saw a slight increase of 0.4% in midday trading on Monday. This follows a mixed day for shares of U.S. airlines, with the U.S. Global JETS exchange-traded fund (JETS) rising by 0.8%.
No Immediate Comment from American Airlines
American Airlines did not respond immediately to requests for comment regarding the fine.
Positive Year for American Airlines
Despite this setback, shares of American Airlines have seen a 15% increase since the beginning of the year, matching the advance of the S&P 500 index (SPX) during the same period.