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United Airlines CEO aims to avoid flight disruptions ahead of US Fourth of July holiday travel

Published 07/01/2023, 06:47 PM
Updated 07/01/2023, 06:50 PM
© Reuters. The One World Trade Center and the New York skyline are seen while United Airlines planes use the tarmac at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, U.S., May 12, 2023. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

By Anirudh Saligrama

(Reuters) - United Airlines plans to make changes in flight operations to avoid weather-related disruptions ahead of the Fourth of July holiday travel, Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby (NYSE:KEX) said on Saturday.

Recent flight disruptions have raised new concerns about whether airlines are ready to handle the summer travel boom during the first Fourth of July holiday in which U.S. air traffic is likely to exceed pre-COVID levels.

"While we work to control the things that are within our control, we must also do a better job of planning against the things that are outside our control so that we can be in a position to recover more quickly," Kirby said in a note.

Last month, United canceled about 19% of its scheduled flights as thunderstorms and equipment failures at a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) facility in Washington caused significant delays for air travelers on the U.S. East Coast.

About 26,000 flights were delayed by all airlines during a weekend in June after thunderstorms ripped through parts of the U.S., according to data from flight monitoring service FlightAware. Kirby last week blamed the FAA for recent flight cancellations.

© Reuters. The One World Trade Center and the New York skyline are seen while United Airlines planes use the tarmac at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, U.S., May 12, 2023. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

United Airlines is also working with Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to get more gates, Kirby said, adding that the company would have to further change or reduce its schedule give itself more spare gates and buffer, particularly during storm season.

"Airlines can plan for things like hurricanes, sub-zero temperatures and snowstorms, but United has never seen an extended limited operating environment like the one we saw this past week at Newark," Kirby said in a note to employees.

Latest comments

The USA desperately needs high speed rail. Too bad the government is broke because they sent all the tax dollars to ukraine
Don't worry about it. As the wealthiest nation on earth, we can afford both. Biden's recent infrastructure bill includes $165 billion for rail improvements.
Why pick on United? They all run like a broken clock. Crandall would never invest in any airline… look it up.
I need to know what the game is from
As me they have to construct more airlines in order things move on well thznks
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