American Airlines risks having to tap its $5 billion bankruptcycash fund and probably will lose some passengers after on-timearrivals tumbled, cancellations surged and incorrectly installedseat clamps were found on six planes.

The operational obstacles add to questions about whetherAmerican, the third-biggest U.S. airline, can successfully emergefrom bankruptcy protection on its own or should merge with would-besuitor US Airways Group Inc., said James Corridore, a Standard& Poor's equity analyst in New York.

“Certainly things are not going well in the reorganizationprocess right now,” Corridore said in an interview. “These aremajor hiccups.”

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