Passengers line up at John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport after airways introduced quite a few flights have been canceled throughout the unfold of the Omicron coronavirus variant on Christmas Eve in Queens, New York, December 24, 2021.
Dieu-Nalio Chery | Reuters
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg urged airline CEOs on Thursday to make sure they’ll fly their schedules reliably this summer time after an increase in delays and cancellations this yr, in response to an individual accustomed to the decision.
The secretary requested airways what steps they have been taking to make sure that disruptions that occurred over Memorial Day weren’t repeated throughout July 4 weekend and the remainder of the summer time, the particular person mentioned. Buttigieg additionally pushed airways to enhance customer support in order that passengers can rebook rapidly, the particular person mentioned, describing the decision as “productive and collaborative.”
Airways have struggled with routine disruptions reminiscent of climate alongside staffing shortfalls and a surge in journey demand. JetBlue Airways, Delta Air Traces, Spirit Airways, Southwest Airways and Alaska Airways have already scaled again their spring and summer time journey schedules to offer themselves extra room to deal with disruptions.
Greater than 7,100 U.S. flights have been delayed and practically 1,600 have been canceled as a number of thunderstorms snarled journey to and from a number of the nation’s busiest airports, in response to flight-tracking website FlightAware.
The Thursday assembly got here after Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) earlier this month wrote to U.S. airways’ business group, Airways for America, urgent for extra details about disruptions over Memorial Day weekend.
“We appreciated the chance to satisfy with Division of Transportation Secretary Buttigieg to debate our shared dedication to prioritizing the security and safety of all vacationers as they reunite with pals, household and colleagues this summer time,” Nick Calio, CEO of Airways for America, which represents giant U.S. carriers, mentioned in an announcement.
Airline executives have often positioned blame on air site visitors management.
The Federal Aviation Administration final month known as carriers to Florida for a gathering about current flight disruptions within the state, the place flight hurdles embrace frequent thunderstorms, navy workout routines and area launches, in addition to a surge in demand.
The FAA, which participated in Thursday’s assembly, had mentioned it might improve staffing at a key air site visitors facility in Florida, amongst different measures.