Delta and United Address Pilot Shortages, Reasons Behind Delays, Canceled Flights and More

In 2020, 20% of pilots were unemployed due to the crash in air travel thanks to the dingleberries in our government shutting the country down during the scamdemic. That’s according to The 2021 Pilot Survey.

Airlines operated 4.7 million passenger flights in the entire year of 2020, a 41% drop from flights in 2019, according to the Bureau of Transportation. The results as you know was the airlines weren’t making enough to cover expenses.

Some of the airlines offered early retirement packages to their employees in an effort to reduce costs and expenses. That’s now turned out to be disastrous. Other pilots were just fired or laid off, also a moronic move.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of airplane pilots and engineers have decreased by nearly 4% over the past two years.

Now that the nation is opened up again, and the morons on the left side of politics realize you can’t shut the country down and be successful and feed your families, there are now shortages of pilots and staff.

The huge lack of pilots and engineers has been the contributing factors to the issues that travelers have faced, especially during the busy summer months.

American Airlines, the nation’s largest has been hurt the most. They’ve had to cancel over 2,000 international and domestic flights since June.

Delta pilots have been protesting since May in many major cities; they say they’re overworked and exhausted.

“There was already a pilot shortage happening before (the COVID-19 pandemic),” Kelvin Mason, general manager for Pilot Pathways, a pilot training program, for Delta, said during AirVenture. “What happened with COVID, all the airlines went through so much financial turmoil in that 12- to 18-month period that a lot of us went into survival mode. (Delta) offered retirement packages to our employees, to try to limit the size of the operation and limit our costs.”

Mason said that at one point during the pandemic Delta was losing over $100,000 a day. 

As pilots accepted the retirement packages, Delta’s workforce was significantly reduced, leaving it, like the other airlines, unprepared for the rapid return of leisure travel. 

Last month, the Delta Master Executive Council released a statement that said by fall Delta pilots will have worked more overtime this year than in 2018 and 2019 combined.

“Travel demand came back faster than anybody anticipated,” Mason said. “All of the airlines have been scrambling to fill all of our openings. The industry has been struggling to ramp up as quickly as travel demand has come back.”

Here’s a snapshot of the turmoil in air travel: According to Flight Aware, over 6,700 flights within, into or leaving out of the county, were delayed last Wednesday. Over 2,800 flights were canceled across the country.

The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents Delta pilots, posted a letter to Delta customers empathizing with them about their many delayed and canceled flights. The union accused Delta of scheduling more flights than available pilots, resulting in pilots working overtime.

“Airline and airport staffing shortages have also led to a slow reintroduction of airline routes to the schedule,” said Madison Blancaflor, the content operations editor for The Points Guy. “Somewhere between 80 to 90% of routes are back from pre-pandemic levels, but we’re not fully recovered, yet. You’re looking at the same number of passengers from 2019 trying to book a fewer number of available airlines seats.”

You can read more from our friends at The Northwestern who contributed to this article.

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