JetBlue Airways has revealed plans to trim its flight schedule for the upcoming summer season to prevent flight disruptions as the airline continues to ramp up hiring as travel demand is expected to rise.
In an emailed statement to staff dated April 10, 2022, which was seen by CNBC, JetBlue’s (JBLU) chief operating officer, Joanna Geraghty confirmed that the major American low-cost carrier has already reduced its May capacity by 8-10% and warned that passengers could see “a similar size capacity pull for the remainder of the summer”.
Having previously faced issues with employee shortages during summer seasons and considering that the airline’s current schedule is already too tight, the New York-based carrier will reduce capacity until its staffing issues are resolved.
“Given we anticipate continued industry challenges and heavy demand into the summer, we are planning more conservatively and trying to be proactive where we can with cancellations due to disruptive weather and air traffic control events,” JetBlue Airways wrote in the email.
The airline has already hired more than 3,000 new employees in 2022. However, the carrier “remains staffing constrained” despite the new hires, as it is still not enough to cover the expected demand for air travel in the coming months.
On April 10, 2022, JetBlue (JBLU) canceled almost 150 flights, around 13% of scheduled flights for that day alone.