FAA, airlines responding to Florida flights disrupted as tourism booms

Visitors look at a display board showing canceled and delayed flights at Orlando International Airport over New Year’s weekend, despite thousands of cancellations and delays across the United States.

Paul Hennessy | Lightrocket | beautiful pictures

The Federal Aviation Administration will be meeting with major US airline employees next month to discuss how to improve the flow of air traffic to and from tourist hotspot Florida, where the weather lagged earlier this month. disrupted travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers.

The two-day meeting will be held in person in Florida, the FAA told CNBC. Spirit Airlines will attend, according to a person familiar with the matter. Other carriers with large operations in Florida include American Airlines and JetBlue Airways also have the ability to attend.

Airlines have flown more to some of the Sunshine State’s busiest airports, such as those serving Miami, Tampa and West Palm Beach than they did in 2019, previously. Covid pandemic. Florida had a record nearly 118 million domestic arrivals last year, according to state figures.

More frequent thunderstorms in the state, coupled with high travel demand and thinner airline staffing levels than necessary, have contributed to flight delays or cancellations. more than 9,000 flights in the first day of this month.

“The limiting factor on the East Coast is weather during times of peak demand,” the FAA said.

Air travel in the state is also facing challenges such as increased military activity and more space launches, all while the pandemic slows down training of controllers. do not save.

Some airlines are slashing their schedules, aiming to improve reliability as they build their operations more slowly. JetBlue is based in New York, Spirit is based in Fort Lauderdale and headquartered in Seattle Alaska Airlines have recently cut their schedule for the summer peak season.

“No one would have expected that Florida in April would have… 115 hours [air traffic control] JetBlue Airways President Joanna Geraghty said during her quarterly call on Tuesday. reflect the resources we have and the external environment. “

Representatives of the airlines immediately commented on the scheduled meeting.

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