United Airlines is cutting daily flights at its hub, Newark Liberty International Airport, this summer to avoid the travel snarls that have been seen this summer.
Over the July 4 weekend, United saw massive travel disruptions at Newark Airport amid bad weather, congestion and a shortage of air traffic controllers.
United will be cutting the number of daily flights from 410 to 390 in August. Typically, United has handled 435 flights a day at Newark Airport.
According to data from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, United accounts for 68% of flights at Newark Airport.
“We are now doing more than ever to mitigate the impact of weather, congestion and other infrastructure constraints at Newark, and frankly, to build a schedule at Newark is more manageable given the frequency of weather events and the very real operating constraints that exist there even on blue sky day,” United CEO Scott Kirby said during the airliner’s second quarter earnings call.
Andrew Nocella, United’s chief commercial officer, said that the cuts would continue this summer “until we can come up with a creative solution to the constraints that we’re all facing there.”
“We are in constant conversation with the [Federal Aviation Administration] about Newark and its overall ability to handle capacity, and we’re going to work collaboratively with them to try and figure out the overall level of flight activity,” he said.
William McGee, senior fellow at the American Economic Liberties Project, previously told NorthJersey.com and The Record that many of the airport’s problems come from United Airlines’ own issues in crew scheduling and poor response to staff shortages and thunderstorms
“It’s clear United is having issues that no other airline is having so you really can’t blame the weather or the air traffic control for that because that is on United,” McGee said.
McGee said other airlines did face some delays and cancellations due to outside factors, staff shortages and thunderstorms, but not like United. Three of the four nationwide airports with major delays are United hubs, according to flight tracker FlightStats.