ATLANTA, March 27 (UPI) -- Flight delays for maintenance or inspection may become more prevalent, airline industry analysts said in reaction to the number of flights canceled this week.
"This isn't a safety issue. But reliability is becoming a concern due to the age of the fleet," Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with Teal Group, told The Los Angeles Times.
Since the Federal Aviation Administration fined Southwest Airlines $10.2 million in March for inspection lapses, United, American Eagle, American and Delta have canceled flights for voluntary inspections.
Both American and Delta Airlines canceled hundreds of flights for spot inspections Wednesday, causing a ripple of delays across the U.S.
The inspections were slated for New York and Atlanta, and connecting flights were also affected.
Delta Airlines grounded 133 planes for the inspections. American canceled more than 300 flights, WXIA-TV, Atlanta, reported.
FAA officials said airlines knew in advance of the inspections, but the canceled flights created chaos and delays for passengers caught unaware.
"It's good to know that they're taking precautions, but I'm still nervous that there are problems in the first place," Amy Isenberg told the Times.