The airline industry is in crisis and the United States is not spared. Hundreds of flights were canceled this Saturday at US airports, due in particular to staffing problems. Enough to spoil the holidays of thousands of families on this national holiday weekend.
By midday, 600 flights had already been canceled, while nearly 2,200 others were delayed, according to flightaware.com. And the situation was already difficult the day before, according to the specialized site, which listed 587 canceled flights on Friday out of a total of 3,060 worldwide, and nearly 8,000 delays.
These setbacks for American passengers constitute a basic trend: the airlines of the United States, which employ 15% less staff compared to the pre-pandemic period, are having difficulty managing the massive return of passengers to their planes.
Officials in the aviation sector mention other aggravating external factors, in particular climatic or due to Covid. Delta Airlines pilots also demonstrated on Thursday to demand wage increases in relation to the number of overtime hours worked.
“A matter of security”
“It’s frankly irresponsible to overbook. Coming out of the pandemic, we plan more flights than we have people to fly them, ”regrets one of their union representatives, Jason Ambrosi, on the CNN channel this Saturday. The pilots, tired, do not want to block the passengers, he assured, “but it is a question of safety”.
US Transportation Minister Pete Buttigieg reminded passengers on Twitter on Saturday that they were entitled to a refund in the event of cancellation.
Companies in the sector, for their part, have assured that they are working to solve the problem, intensifying their recruitment campaigns for pilots and other categories of personnel and reducing the number of seats available for passengers.
The United States is not the only one affected by this crisis across the Atlantic: according to Radio Canada, Air Canada has planned to cut 15% of its daily flights in July and August.