Severe storms have slammed the East Coast of the US recently, and more than 4,000 flights got disrupted as a result of the severe weather. It wasn’t long until airlines started to look for ways to rebound, according to Fox Business.
United Airlines was the most affected by the issue, as it had more than 400 cancellations and 650 delays. JetBlue Airways, on the other hand, had to cancel 91 flights and delay over 330.
United Airlines explained through the voice of a spokesperson for Fox Business:
Several consecutive days of severe weather and lingering thunderstorms in the Northeast, combined with FAA staffing constraints over the weekend, have resulted in a tough operating environment, especially for our customers flying in and out of the New York area,
We know our customers are eager to get to their destinations and our airport and call center teams are working overtime to assist them. As we focus on helping our customers whose travel has been disrupted over the last few days, we’re also planning ahead to be ready for the upcoming holiday weekend.
In a memo to his staff, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby expressed his disappointment regarding the performance of the FAA, stating that they had let the company down during the recent events. Kirby pointed out that the FAA has historically been able to handle the challenges posed by the weather in New York City without significant disruptions to United’s operations and customers.
Kirby noted that the FAA had significantly decreased the arrival rates at Newark Liberty International Airport, which serves as one of United’s important hubs, by 40%. Additionally, departure rates were reduced by 75%. He attributed these reductions to a possible lack of staffing or experience within the FAA, which resulted in extensive cancellations, delays, diversions, and the misplacement of crews and aircraft.