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Airlines cancel over 700 US flights as labour crunch, bad weather weigh

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Adverse weather and a shortage of staff hurt airlines’ abilities to keep up with a surge in summer travel demand.

PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) – Airlines cancelled over 700 flights in the United States on Monday (June 27), as adverse weather and a shortage of staff hurt their ability to keep up with a surge in summer travel demand.

Total flight cancellations within, into, or out of the United States as of 11.45am ET were 728, as per flight-tracking website Flightaware.com.

Nearly 860 flights were cancelled on Sunday. Delta Air Lines had over 200 cancellations, United Airlines and Republic Airlines faced 195 and 122 flight cancellations, respectively, while American Airlines cancelled 61 flights as of Monday.

American Airlines said the cancellations were largely due to weather and air traffic control initiatives designed to regulate traffic. Delta, United and Republic did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.

In Europe, recent airport snarls have been blamed on a shortage of employees, as many workers, who were laid off during the pandemic, desert airport work for flexible working practices and other occupations.

Even the US regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) faces staff shortages.

The FAA last week granted United approval to temporarily cut Newark flights after the Chicago-based carrier petitioned for a waiver, citing airport construction and air traffic control staffing.

Airlines for America, a trade group, said on Friday the FAA must ensure adequate air traffic control staffing to avoid further summer travel disruptions.

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