The airlines in the US blame bad weather and the Federal Aviation Administration, an arm of the Transportation Department that manages the nation’s airspace for cancellations .
As the peak summer vacation season approaches, airlines in the United States have revoked over 1,500 flights, making it one of the worst days for journeys yet. According to tracking service FlightAware, more than one-third of all flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York was revoked, while more than one-fourth of planes were diverted to nearby Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey.
The revocations come less than three weeks after airlines started the summer travel season by revoking more than 2,800 flights during five days over Memorial Day weekend.
And they happened as airline CEOs held a virtual meeting with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg – a sign of the Biden administration’s concern about the prospect of snarled airports and unhappy passengers this summer.
“I let them know that this is a moment when we are counting on them to deliver reliably for the traveling public,” Buttigieg said to News reporters.
During the meeting, which took place by videoconference, Buttigieg asked the CEOs to describe steps they are taking to operate smoothly over the July 4 holiday and the rest of the summer, according to a person familiar with the call but not authorized to discuss it publicly.
- Buttigieg also pushed airlines to examine whether they can manage the schedules that they have published and improve customer service, the person told.
The head of trade group Airlines for America, Nicholas Calio, said in a report that industry officials appreciated the chance to talk with Buttigieg and discuss our shared commitment to prioritizing the safety and security of all travelers.
Airlines are struggling with shortages of workers, especially pilots, that are hurting their ability to work for all their planned flights. Pilot unions at Delta, American, and Southwest have told their airlines were too slow to replace pilots who retired or took leaves of absence during the early part of the pandemic.
Two Senate Democrats said this month that the holiday weekend performance raises questions about airline decision-making. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts told delays and revocations”are occurring so frequently that they are becoming an almost-expected part of travel.”
- Boeing and AIESL announce partnership for the maintenance of B777 aircraft used by VVIPs
- SpiceJet Airlines announce warns of the imminent fare hike
- Noida airport, India’s biggest, to be built by the Tata group
Federal Aviation Administration
The airlines blame bad weather and the Federal Aviation Administration, an arm of the Transportation Department that manages the nation’s airspace. In a letter to the senators, Calio ticked off a long list of FAA delays and staffing problems over the holiday weekend.
The airlines have jousted with the FAA this spring over delays in Florida, where air travel recovered more quickly than in many other parts of the country. After meeting with airline representatives in May, the FAA agreed to improve staffing at an air-traffic control center near Jacksonville and make other changes.
The US pushes above 2.2 million a day
Concern about flight problems arrives as the number of air travelers in the US pushes above 2.2 million a day. That is still about 300,000 fewer per day than in mid-June 2019, but crowds will grow over the next several weeks and almost certainly break the pandemic-era record set on the Sunday after Thanksgiving last year.
Bottlenecks could pop up at gateway airports where travelers enter the United States. Last weekend, the Biden administration dropped a 16-month requirement that people test negative for COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the U.S. That decision is expected to boost international travel – United Airlines said Monday that it saw an immediate increase in searches for overseas flights.
Another threat: The FAA is urging airlines to quickly upgrade equipment that might be vulnerable to radio interference from new wireless services. The agency’s acting administrator, Billy Nolen, told airlines Wednesday that Verizon and AT&T plan to turn on hundreds of 5G C-band transmitters around airports on July 5.
Dire forecasts of fallout from the wireless companies’ initial C-band service failed to come true early this year. Still, Nolen said FAA couldn’t promise that some planes won’t have problems.
He told industry officials have found a way to retrofit many planes with problematic gear by the end of the year and others in 2023. Shares of the largest six U.S. Airlines dropped between 6% and 9% on Thursday, as jitters about the economy sent the broader market tumbling.
Stay updated with Aviationa2z.com
Join our Telegram group for the latest updates
Source : ZEE News