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Phoenix heat wave forces American Airlines to cancel at least 50 flights

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PHOENIX — At least 50 American Airlines flights were canceled until the weather cools off just a bit in Phoenix, the company said in an email.

The airline said 43 American Eagle regional flights scheduled for Tuesday were canceled because the Bombardier CRJ aircraft — the plane used to fly the routes — is only certified to operate in a maximum temperature of 118 degrees.

Seven other flights were delayed Tuesday because of the heat.

Seven flights were canceled on Monday. The high at Phoenix Sky Harbor was at least 118 degrees.

The flights were all scheduled to land or depart between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., which is the hottest part of the day.

The flights were operated by either Mesa Airlines or SkyWest Airlines.

Passengers affected by the cancellations can either request a new flight at no charge or a full refund by contacting American Airlines customer service at 800-433-7300.

The airline said other flights could also be affected depending on the heat.

In a separate release, the airport said it works with airplane manufacturers and air traffic controllers to delay flights in extreme heat.

Larger jets may be affected by the heat wave, but only if temperatures hit record highs. The airport said most jetliners are certified to operate up to 122 degrees, the hottest day ever recorded in Phoenix.

Phoenix could set a new all-time high this week. The National Weather Service called for a high of 117 degrees Monday, 120 degrees on Tuesday and 119 degrees on Wednesday.

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