Delta Air Lines canceled 78 flights because of maintenance issues in 2017—a notable improvement over 2016’s figure of 123. Five years earlier, comparable figures were 10 times higher.  While the airline credits a combination of factors for the steady improvement—the number has decreased every year since 2010, when it topped 5,000—data-driven maintenance prognostics is playing a major role. That the carrier’s program is so effective even as it supports one ...

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