Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hundreds of Flights Canceled Today for Inspection of Planes

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines canceled hundreds of flights Thursday as they continue their inspections of wiring bundles on some of their planes.

American, the nation's largest airline, canceled 132 flights of its estimated 2,300 flights scheduled for Thursday, spokesman Tim Wagner said. That was about 6 percent of American's Thursday schedule after the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline canceled 325 flights on Wednesday.

Delta expects about 275 cancellations through early Friday, affecting about 3 percent of Delta's worldwide flight schedule, said spokeswoman Chris Kelly. About 70 percent of Delta's MD-88 fleet was to be inspected by early evening Thursday, with normal operations planned by early Friday, she said.

American said it began its inspections after an audit of the carrier by a joint team of inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Fort Worth-based airline. The inspections focus on proper spacing between two bundles of wires in the plane's auxiliary hydraulic system, and those wires must be installed exactly according to an FAA directive, American said.

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