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Desperate airlines switching buses with BUSES to try to cope with pilot shortages on short-haul routes




Several American airlines are now so desperate for employees that they have changed planes with buses on some shorter routes.

Several airlines, including American Airlines, have hired bus companies to carry passengers when the distances are small.

American will bus people between Philadelphia and between several other airports that will only be a short jump away by plane.

The service will start on June 3 between Philadelphia International and airports in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Atlantic City, New Jersey with the bus company Landline.

Meanwhile, United offers one-stop connections to both Fort Collins and Breckenridge, with four daily buses from Denver to the former and only one to the latter.

American Airlines will bus people between Philadelphia and several airport couples who are just a short jump away by plane

American Airlines will bus people between Philadelphia and several airport couples who are just a short jump away by plane

Bus services come when US airlines face a pilot shortage that forces them to increase training programs and even recruit pilots from abroad.

Breeze Airways, a discount company and SkyWest, are recruiting both foreign pilots from Australia in an attempt to increase the number of employees.

The industry is also raising wages in hopes of attracting and retaining pilots.

An average of 14,500 new pilots each year until 2030, according to federal labor statistics.

Landline, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, has similar agreements with Sun Country Airlines in seven cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Landline, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, has similar agreements with Sun Country Airlines in seven cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin

“The pilot shortage for the industry is real, and most airlines will simply not be able to realize their capacity plans because there are simply not enough pilots, at least not for the next five plus years,” Scott Kirby, CEO director. said a United Airlines officer last week during a conference call. ‘

“It will probably force United to keep 150 regional planes parked despite increased domestic travel demand,” he said.

Landline and US did not mention the lack of pilots instead of showing the bus service as “an easier way” to get between Philadelphia Airport and Lehigh International Airport in Allentown 110 miles away, and Atlantic City International Airport, 56 miles away.

Brian Znotins, America’s vice president of network planning, said it would help customers connect to the airline’s international flights from Philadelphia.

United Airlines in Denver also plans to bus some of its passengers

United Airlines in Denver also plans to bus some of its passengers

The American regional affiliate, American Eagle, flies from Allentown to Chicago and Charlotte, North Carolina. Fort Worth does not serve Atlantic City.

Landline, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, has similar agreements with United Airlines in Denver and Sun Country Airlines in seven cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The company said it raised $ 28 million to expand its geographic reach.

Even before the pandemic, the airlines faced a shortage of crew when it came to pilots.

When Covid struck, the travel downturn led to thousands of pilots being laid off or retiring early.

As a result, the industry struggled to recover when the journey resumed, according to Bloomberg, and this now means that the airlines are not able to find enough qualified crews to restore route maps.

Breeze Airways, a discount company, plans to recruit some of its pilots from Australia

Breeze Airways, a discount company, plans to recruit some of its pilots from Australia

“This is going to be one of the biggest constraints for the industry going forward,” Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci said last week during a conversation.

Airlines have been waiting for a big blessing for the travel industry for the summer of 2022.

The number of tickets sold in February for those traveling between June and August this year fell by only three percent from February 2019, but carriers have scaled down their schedules compared to times before the pandemic.

In the summer of 2021, scheduled flights decreased by 16 percent from the summer of 2019.

This year, United says flights will decline 13% from 2019, and Delta Air Lines estimates a fall of 16%. American will go down by around 8%, while Alaska will go down by 9%. JetBlue has trimmed 10% of its summer flights.

Airlines have been waiting for a great blessing for the travel industry for the summer of 2022. In the photo, many planes were parked during the pandemic.  American placed some jets in Pittsburgh

Airlines have been waiting for a great blessing for the travel industry for the summer of 2022. In the photo, many planes were parked during the pandemic. American placed some jets in Pittsburgh

JetBlue said that despite already employing 2,500 new workers this year, it is still unable to fill all the openings needed for a fuller summer plan.

“We have already reduced capacity in May by 8-10 percent, and you can expect to see a similar capacity pull for the rest of the summer,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlues COO and president, in an email to employees obtained by CNBC. last week .

The problems are worse with the smaller regional operators, with many pilots having moved on and hired by larger operators.

“We do not have the regional planes flying in the summer right now [that] we want,’s American CEO Robert Isom told CNBC. “This is a fantastic opportunity for people who want to get in and fly. They can make a lot of money.

“This is the key point,” Faye Malarkey Black, executive director of the Regional Airline Association, told Bloomberg. “We have not seen this level of service loss since just after 9-11, when the crisis changed the fly-drive equation. I expect this bad situation to get worse before it gets better, no matter what we do. ‘



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