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Buttigieg urges airline CEOs to ensure reliability this summer after waves of turmoil

Buttigieg urges airline CEOs to ensure reliability this summer after waves of turmoil

Passengers line up at John F. Kennedy International Airport after airlines announced that several flights were canceled during the coronavirus Omicron spread on Christmas Eve in Queens, New York, December 24, 2021.

dio nalio cherry | Reuters

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg urged airline chief executives Thursday to make sure they can reliably carry out their schedules this summer after a surge in Delays and cancellations This year, according to a person familiar with the call.

The minister asked the airlines what steps they were taking to ensure disruptions during Memorial Day did not repeat over the July 4 weekend and the rest of the summer, the person said. Buttigieg also pushed airlines to improve customer service so that passengers can do so Quick rebook“Productive and collaborative,” the person said, describing the call.

Airlines have suffered from routine disruptions such as weather coupled with staff shortages and increased travel demand. JetBlue AirwaysAnd the Delta AirlinesAnd the Spirit AirlinesAnd the Southwest Airlines And the Alaska Airlines You already have Reducing their travel schedules in the spring and summer to give themselves more room to deal with the turmoil.

More than 7,100 US flights have been postponed and nearly 1,600 canceled due to multiple thunderstorms that have hampered travel to and from some of the nation’s busiest airports, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.

Thursday’s meeting came after Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Connect) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) earlier this month wrote to the US airline group, Airlines for America, to lobby for more information about the disruptions over the weekend on Anniversary.

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“We appreciate the opportunity to meet with Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg to discuss our shared commitment to prioritizing the safety and security of all travelers as they reunite with friends, family and colleagues this summer,” Nick Calio, CEO of American Airlines, which represents major U.S. airlines, said in a statement.

Airlines executives sometimes blame air traffic control.

The Federal Aviation Administration last month invited airlines to Florida for a meeting about recent flight disruptions in the state, where aviation hurdles include frequent thunderstorms, military exercises and space launches, as well as increased demand.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which took part in Thursday’s meeting, said it will increase the number of staff at a major air traffic facility in Florida, Among other measures.