A United Airlines passenger plane lands at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, on January 19, 2022.
Typhoon Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
United Airlines will cut about 50 daily flights from Newark Liberty International Airport next month in a bid to reduce delays that have disrupted passenger plans this year.
The discounts are up to about 12% off United’s schedule at their hub in New Jersey and only apply to domestic flights, starting July 1.
United executives said the delays are due to capacity constraints, airport construction and air traffic control — not staff shortages at the airlines.
The US airline industry has broadly suffered from a higher rate of flight cancellations and delays this year compared to 2019. Routine problems such as thunderstorms have led to widespread delays for passengers, and staff shortages at some airlines have hampered an increase in air travel this year. Airlines also cut flights and destinations, citing a shortage of pilots.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg last week urged airline chief executives to ensure the latest wave of disruption does not repeat over the Fourth of July holiday and the rest of the summer.
“After the last few weeks of irregular operations in Newark, which were caused by many factors including the construction of the airport, we have reached out to the FAA and received a waiver allowing us to adjust our schedule there temporarily for the remainder of the summer,” said John Roitman, United team . Executive Vice President and COO, he told employees in a Thursday note.
United said it is not currently ending service to any cities, but will reduce the number of flights it operates to certain markets.
“While we have the aircraft, pilots, crews and staff to support our Newark schedule, this exemption will allow us to eliminate about 50 flights per day which will help reduce excessive delays and improve on-time performance – not just for our customers, but for everyone who flies through Newark.”
From the start of the year through mid-June, 31% of flights to Newark were delayed, the second-worst rate in the country after Chicago Midway, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.
Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines are among the airlines that have scaled back their schedules this year.