Delta is canceling hundreds of flights this week due to safety inspections of wiring bundles on its planes' hydraulic systems. Delta estimates about 275 flights will be canceled between Thursday and Friday. American also canceled 325 flights on Wednesday and 132 on Thursday due to similar inspections.
The inspections are part of a Federal Aviation Administration investigation into all U.S. carriers' maintenance records. The investigation was triggered earlier in March when the FAA found that Southwest missed its deadline for performing safety checks on fuselages of 46 planes, resulting in a $10.2 million civil penalty.
The FAA says it plans to complete a full safety audit of U.S. airlines by June 30, so it's likely more mass flight cancellations are in the future this spring. It might be a pain for some passengers, but it's better than people getting hurt or killed flying aboard an unsafe plane. It's just too bad a fear of fines and bad PR is the motivation behind these recent safety checks.