JetBlue’s ‘Challenging Staffing Situation’ Means Summer Flight Cuts: Will Your Vacation Be Canceled?
Citing an “already challenging staffing situation,” JetBlue Airways has announced it will be cutting as many as 10% of flights this summer despite upturns in demand in the travel and airline industries.
JetBlue, the seventh-largest airline in North America by passengers carried, says it will fly 8% to 10% fewer flights starting in May through to the end of summer.
The announcement comes after a particularly rough weekend for the cost-effective, Queens-based airline. According to the flight tracking and data analysts at FlightAware, from April 8 through April 10, JetBlue had 486 cancellations, about 16% of its flight schedule, and 1,556 delayed arrivals concerning about half of its flight schedule. It also canceled one in five flights on April 11. Those with summer vacation plans will have to follow their flight’s status as the date approaches in order to determine whether their flight will be delayed or canceled.
The pandemic, with its subsequent lockdowns and travel bans, has pummeled the world’s airlines. But JetBlue isn’t the only carrier to take significant measures in order to deal with rising costs and staff shortages. Alaska Airlines has also had a difficult time ramping up capacity to meet the soaring demand. It has canceled hundreds of flights since April 1, and has cut its spring schedule by 2% through June — blaming a shortage of pilots for the cancellations.
The airline industry is short on all staff, both in-flight and general, with many employees choosing to retire early during the pandemic, jump to other airlines — or simply quit. As demand returns, carriers are scrambling to attract new staff as well as retain their existing crews amid an extended period of worker shortages. Rising jet fuel prices around the world, somewhat exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine war, are also impacting airlines.
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