Should US airlines receive a multi-billion stimulus extension amidst increasing performance and demand for new staff?
Chattanooga, TN – The Chattanooga Airport says they have seen a gradual increase in the number of passengers who boarded flights from April to October.
Chattanooga Airport President and CEO Terry Hart says the month of October has seen the most airplane passengers this year, with that number at 22,559.
However, enplanements (boarding of an aircraft) are still down 40-45% from what they were in 2019.
Hart believes it to be unlikely that the Chattanooga Airport would again reach 2019 numbers in 2021.
However, there is confidence that the number of flight passengers will rise as 2021 progresses.
“I think it’s all centered around when customers feel comfortable traveling by air and we are seeing that number continue to rise.”, Hart said.
Chattanooga Airport’s growing performance comes as Delta announces the cancelation of 500 flights due to crew shortages.
Delta canceled 1 in every 5 flights scheduled for Thanksgiving Day because of an inability to staff the flights.
The pandemic and travel decreases have left airlines a smaller pool of qualified pilots that are ready to fly.
“The Delta Master Executive Council at the Air Line Pilots Association said its pilots have stepped up to take on extra flights over the holiday period and receive the incentive of premium pay for picking up extra legs”, wrote CNN.
Despite increasing passengers and demand for pilots, US airlines are pressuring the federal government for a multi-billion stimulus extension.