In this week’s developments, the problems of excessive flight cancellations and delays look like they will continue through the peak summer season; Spirit Airlines delays a shareholder vote on a Frontier merger as it studies the latest JetBlue offer; low-cost Breeze Airways puts off its Los Angeles debut as it slows down growth plans; United’s Star Alliance will add a non-airline member and American’s Oneworld will take on its third Middle Eastern partner; China eases mandatory COVID-19 quarantine rules; Air New Zealand unveils plans to add economy class bunk beds to its long-haul 787 fleet; Alaska Airlines and American open up new award booking options on international partner carriers; American and British Airways will consolidate flight activities at London Heathrow terminals.
Even though several major airlines have cut back their original summer schedules to minimize last-minute cancellations as they struggle with staffing issues, it’s starting to look like schedule disruptions such as those widely anticipated for the Fourth of July weekend are likely to continue in the weeks ahead. Earlier this week, as the holiday approached, airlines were already recording flight cancellation and delay numbers well above average. By the end of June, Newsweek reported, total flight cancellations for 2022 already surpassed the number for all of 2021, and this year is on track to become the worst ever for cancellations. “The misery suffered by U.S. air travelers in 2022 is set to continue as airline experts warn there is no quick fix to the industry’s problems,” the publication said.