Image: Bombardier CRJ200
Bombardier
Atlantic Southeast Airlines, a regional carrier for Delta Air Lines, grounded 60 of its 112 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 jets after an internal audit raised safety concerns.
updated 4/2/2009 10:32:06 AM ET 2009-04-02T14:32:06

Atlantic Southeast Airlines expects to resume full operations later Thursday, after grounding 60 planes for safety inspections.

The subsidiary of SkyWest and feeder carrier for Delta Air Lines says the groundings have led to cancellation of 272 flights. ASA expects to resume a normal flight schedule by midday.

ASA grounded a portion of its 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 jets after an internal audit raised questions about whether the engines had been properly inspected according to the guidelines provided by the engines’ manufacturer. The re-inspections were done as a precaution.

The groundings represent nearly 40 percent of ASA’s total fleet.

The company reported the problem itself to the Federal Aviation Administration and grounded the planes so they could be re-inspected as a precautionary measure, company spokeswoman Kate Modolo said.

Some of the planes were being inspected at the airline’s hub, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest. Others were scattered around ASA’s other maintenance facilities.

On Thursday, Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton said Delta was working to accommodate affected passengers and to cover as many ASA flights as possible with other regional carriers or Delta mainline planes.

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Delta sold ASA to St. George, Utah-based SkyWest in 2005 for $425 million in cash. ASA remains a regional carrier for Delta, the world’s biggest airline operator, and operates under the Delta Connection fold. ASA doesn’t fly for any other major carrier. Delta owns Northwest Airlines and three of the other eight regional carriers it uses to provide connecting service to its customers.

ASA serves 110 airports in the U.S., Bahamas and Canada.

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