Summer travel may not start as expected due to ‘complicated’ labor shortage, pilot warns

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Summer travel is expected to be “challenging” due to labor shortages and flight cancellations, warned Captain Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.

Murray, the pilot, said in an interview with Fox & Friends Weekend on Sunday that the entire airline industry is facing similar challenges as US airlines have canceled large numbers of flights for several days as they try to recover from the storm as they try to adjust to growing summer crowds. vacationers.

By late Sunday morning, there were more than 2,000 canceled flights with nearly 8,300 delays, according to flight tracking service FlightAware, which noted that more than 700 flights and more than 1,000 delays had been canceled in the US.

In previous days, a similar situation haunted travelers. On Friday, for example, the airports with the most cancellations were those in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is the main hub for American Airlines, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty in the New York area, and Reagan Washington National outside of Washington, DC.

“It’s going to be a tough summer,” Murray said. “This summer is going to be challenging for the entire industry, and at Southwest we’re doing everything we can to make sure we get everyone where they want to be.”


When asked what’s causing all the delays and cancellations, Murray spoke about problems specific to Southwest Airlines, noting that “we’re having trouble connecting pilots to planes.”

He said the airline is hiring employees “and that will alleviate the problem to some extent, but a lot of it has to do with internal inefficiencies and internal processes.” He claimed that some pilots experience “fatigue”, among other things.

Murray added that the problem with how pilots are used is not new and “has been around for years,” before noting that “we’re seeing labor shortages in the macro environment,” not just airlines.

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

On Thursday, Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg held a virtual meeting with airline executives to talk about the steps airlines are taking to ensure smooth operations over the July 4 holiday weekend and through the end of summer. The group also discussed ways to improve conditions for passengers stranded by flight cancellations.

Asked if he thought Buttigieg’s meeting would help solve the problem, Murray replied that he thought “it’s part” of the solution.

“As for us, we also have a contract for 2.5 years after the right date. This causes problems with the recruitment of pilots,” he continued. “It’s kind of a systemic issue for us, and it’s spreading across the industry as well.”

Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, which usually marks the start of the summer travel season, airlines are facing…

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