Travelers are being cautioned by one airline CEO that other companies won't be able to manage all the flights they intend to run this year.
And additional interruptions will follow as a result.
Airlines that manage as if this is still 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, will struggle, according to United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby.
Kirby claims that the industry is suffering from a lack of pilots and other staff, old equipment, and a burden on the Federal Aviation Administration. Here's what he said as well:
"The current volume, let alone the predicted rise, is simply too much for the system to handle. Many airlines are unable to fly their scheduled routes. The cost is borne by the customers."
Without specifically mentioning Southwest Airlines, Kirby made use of the issues the airline had during the holidays.
Late in December, a winter storm forced Southwest to cancel roughly 17,000 flights after it disrupted the airline's schedule and overloaded its crew scheduling system.
"What happened during the holidays wasn't a one-time weather-related incident, and it wasn't just at one carrier. In early December, there were double-digit rates of canceled flights on Alaska, Spirit, and Frontier as well."
During the corporation's fourth-quarter earnings release with analysts and reporters, Kirby made the comments.
Kirby noted that his company has invested in technology, has more personnel per trip than it had before the Covid-19 pandemic, maintains more reserve aircraft, and doesn't overbook its flights.
However, those actions have increased United's cost to fly a mile, excluding fuel, by nearly 15% over what it was in 2019.
Chicago-based United, which posted a profit of $843 million for the fourth quarter after the market closed on Tuesday, January 19th, anticipated that its profitability in 2023 would comfortably surpass Wall Street expectations.
On Wednesday, January 18th, United Airlines Holdings Group Inc. stock fell 4.6%, and it dropped another 1% in after-hours trade.
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