American Airlines tech leader talks about outages, hackers

A government report this month highlighted the frequency of computer outages at airlines, which can stop passengers from checking in for flights, and even prevent planes from taking off.

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American Airlines canceled about 3,000 flights last June when a hardware breakdown prevented one of its regional affiliates, PSA Airlines, from using crew-scheduling software.

Maya Leibman, senior vice president and chief information officer, is responsible for the information technology systems at American, the world's biggest airline.

Her greatest achievement was likely the smooth integration of reservations systems at American and US Airways after their merger — a process that has tripped up other carriers.

American has increased IT investment after the PSA meltdown — although Leibman won't provide figures. She talked recently with The Associated Press. Her answers were edited for length.

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