Delta cuts flights before summer surge
Delta Air Lines announced Thursday that it will cancel about 100 flights per day this summer due to staffing shortages and the rising cost of supplies. The changes between July 1 and Aug. 7 will mostly affect flights in the United States and Latin America. On average, about 2 million people per day board planes in the United States, about 90 percent of 2019 levels. Airlines expect the number of passengers to rise this summer as COVID-19 travel restrictions ease.
Are other airlines reducing flights? JetBlue announced plans in April to cut 8 percent to 10 percent of its summer schedule. Alaska Airlines reduced its schedule by about 2 percent through June due to limited available pilots. The four largest U.S. airlines — American, Delta, United, and Southwest — together had roughly 36,000 fewer employees at the start of this year than before the pandemic, contributing to higher ticket prices as they struggle to staff planes. Right now, domestic flights average more than $300 round-trip, according to travel-data firm Hopper.
Dig deeper: Listen to Mary Reichard on The World and Everything in It podcast on what life might look like as pandemic measures come to an end.
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