The CEO of United Airlines says the US government was partly to blame for the travel chaos. Scott Kirby told CNN that government infrastructure hasn’t kept up with demand fast enough. Airlines are struggling to keep staffing levels in line with demand. Something is loading.
The CEO of United Airlines says travel issues affecting the aviation industry are partly the fault of the US government.
In an interview with CNN, Scott Kirby said government-controlled infrastructure, such as air traffic control, hasn’t caught up with demand as quickly as airlines.
Kirby told CNN: “Frankly, the biggest challenges aren’t the airlines themselves, it’s all of the supporting infrastructure around aviation that hasn’t caught up as quickly.”
“When the FAA says you can’t land planes at the airport, you’re going to have delays and cancellations,” he said.
Representatives for United Airlines did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside of normal working hours.
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said air traffic control issues weren’t behind most of the cancellations over the summer, according to CNN.
Buttigieg recently wrote to US airlines calling the summer’s travel chaos “unacceptable.” He said in the letter that airlines should offer meals and hotel vouchers to delayed passengers.
Department of Transportation officials did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside of normal working hours.
The aviation industry has had a tumultuous summer as a surge in travel demand has left many airlines scrambling to accommodate record numbers of passengers. Airlines are struggling to keep staffing levels in line with demand, and shortages of pilots as well as flight crew have contributed to the wave of flight delays and cancellations.
This summer, US airlines have canceled a total of 16,414 flights since June, according to FlightAware.