TheStreet reports American Airlines and United Airlines made the most cuts between May 1 and September 30, 2023, followed by JetBlue and Delta Air Lines.
Cuts Temporarily Authorized by FAA as Air Traffic Control Staffing Increases
Pausing flights was authorized earlier this year by the Federal Aviation Administration, citing several stressors to what is usually a busy travel season. In March 2023, the agency noted that there were still “air traffic controller training backlog at many FAA air traffic facilities,” while stating that “staffing levels at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (N90) continue to be below targets.”
With more air travel demand and staffing shortages at safety facilities, the FAA is allowing airlines to be flexible with their slots at impacted airports in New York and Washington. In order to ensure flights take off on time and to reduce the impact of natural weather events on air operations – such as what happened to Southwest in Winter 2023 – The FAA is encouraging airlines to use bigger aircraft with fewer take-offs and landings.
As a result, airlines have taken the opportunity to reduce a great number of flights out of the impacted airports. Along with the previously announced schedule cuts, American will make the most cuts, dropping nearly 4,800 flights arriving or departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia International Airport (LGA), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), and Washington Reagan. United will drop around 4,300 flights from their New York and Washington operations.
JetBlue, the only one of the four airlines headquartered in New York, will drop over 3,500 flights from their summer schedule. Delta will drop the fewest number of operations, only cutting 1,983 flights. Southwest Airlines also has the option to reduce flights but has so far not announced any schedule changes.
FAA Shifts ATC Responsibilities to Help Staffing Issues
As the FAA works through training backlogs and assignments, they are working on contingency plans to ensure safe flights along the impacted routes. One of them includes reassigning around 100 square miles of air traffic control at Newark from New York Terminal Radar Approach Control to Philadelphia Terminal Radar Approach Control.
Source: frugal travel guy