Happy New Year of Flight Disruptions for Pilots
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It’s a new year – 2022 – but old problems aren’t going to disappear for the aviation industry. According to recent reports, major airlines are still canceling flights at extremely high volume, due to both weather, staffing shortages, and COVID.
On Friday the 31st, airlines canceled nearly 1,500 flights in the United State. Saturday, New Year’s Day, wasn’t much better with 2,400 flight cancellations.
Saturday the 1st saw a large spike in cancellations due to severe weather in a major market – Chicago. A snowstorm was forecast to hit the city, resulting in 1,000 flight cancellations.
Aside from weather concerns, COVID remains a cause for concern as some airlines find themselves short-staffed. According to JetBlue, the airline plans to cut just under 1,300 flights, from a two-week period beginning December 30th, due to the number of employees calling in sick from COVID and the new variant Omicron.
This is the result of an ongoing trend as more and more airline employees get sick. CNBC reports that JetBlue, along with United, Delta, SkyWest, Alaska, and other major airlines have canceled over 10,000 flights since December 23.
United Airlines has one plan for pilots to keep the planes flying – offer more pay. United Airlines has recently announced that they have come to an agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association union to raise pay up to triple if pilots are willing to pick up additional trips in January 2022.
The start to 2022 has been rocky, but if pilots can stay well, there may be a chance to pick up some extra money.