United Airlines is reducing its flight schedule out of Newark Liberty International Airport just ahead of the July 4 holiday in an effort to minimize flight disruptions this summer.
United Airlines Chief Operating Officer Jon Roitman told employees in a memo Thursday that the carrier will cut 50 daily domestic flights, or 12% of its schedule, out of the New Jersey hub starting on July 1, which is seen as the start of the holiday weekend.
The entire industry is facing operational challenges at a time when people are flooding back to airports nationwide, even with higher airfares, to embark on long-awaited trips.
Roitman said the carrier had been prepared for the surge in nationwide travel demand by having "appropriate staffing and planes necessary to serve our customers."
Still, United faced irregular operations in Newark over the last few weeks, which Roitman blamed on "many factors including airport construction."
Roitman said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave the carrier the green light to temporarily adjust its schedule for the remainder of the summer at the airport, "which should help minimize excessive delays and improve on-time performance – not only for our customers, but for everyone flying through Newark."
Likewise, the FAA told FOX Business that United was given approval to not use some of its slots at Newark due to construction at several gates and on the runway.
"Travel demand in Newark has never been stronger and we will continue to partner with the FAA and Port Authority so we can reinstate these 50 daily departures and revert to a full schedule from Newark as soon as possible," Roitman continued.
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Over the past several months, many major passenger carriers have had to cut flight schedules ahead of the busy summer season due to staffing challenges.
As recent as this week, American Airlines said it was ending service in four cities this fall in response to the industry-wide pilot shortage.
Meanwhile, Alaska and JetBlue announced earlier this year that they were also forced to reduce flights throughout the summer due to staffing issues.