Do you fly on 4th of July weekend? Flight delays, cancellations are on the rise

Thousands of flights were delayed or canceled during Father’s Day and the 19th weekend, USA Today reports. This trend is expected to continue through the summer, if not longer.

tense industry: On Saturday alone, more than 6,300 flights within, into or out of the United States were postponed, and 859 were cancelled, according to NBC.

  • This comes at a time when summer excursions are expected to boom to pre-pandemic levels or higher. However, the industry is not on pre-pandemic alert.

news: Airlines across the country have already reduced services as the summer travel season approaches its peak.

  • Southwest Airlines has grounded about 20,000 flights between June and Labor Day, and is ramping up recruitment efforts to try to better deal with the chaos, NBC reported.
  • As of July 1, United Airlines has announced that it will cut 50 daily flights from Newark, New Jersey, per CNBC.
  • Previously, Deseret News reported that American Airlines would cut flights from three cities: Ithaca, Islip, New York, and Toledo, Ohio.

What causes these disorders? According to Deseret News, many pilots were laid off or encouraged to retire as the pandemic reached its peak, leading to a shortage of national pilots.

  • The air travel industry is still experiencing further setbacks from the pandemic, as it recovers from layoffs, other problems and supply chain delays that have arisen during 2020, according to Forbes.
  • On Tuesday, 1,300 Southwest Airlines pilots participated in a protest in Dallas, Texas, according to the Associated Press. The pilots stood in the scorching sun to demand better wages and working conditions amid hard working conditions.
  • Southwest isn’t the only airline whose pilots are nervous. Pilots from Delta, Alaska and other airlines across the country have held strikes to demand better working conditions.

I look ahead: Kit Darby, founder of Kit Darby Aviation Consulting, told CBS News that the July 4th weekend “doesn’t look good” for travel.

  • “Airline operations are known to be fragile and prone to disruptions when there is any kind of additional stress on their services. Now, with airline staff under pressure, even a patch of bad weather can lead to back-to-back delays and cancellations,” CBS reported.
  • Hayley Berg, Huber’s chief economist, also predicted a bumpy 4th of July weekend for air travel. Demand is high, so Berg says he expects delays and cancellations, per Yahoo.

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