Airlines Lack Planes to Support Busy Summer Travel Season

When was the last time we, as a collective, enjoyed a smooth summer travel season? Anyone?

Buckle up for another turbulent summer

Buckle up for another turbulent summer

By Lindsay Rogers

“Summer 2022 travel was nothing if not a total and utter shitshow,” is an actual thing I wrote on April 20, 2023 before detailing all the ways in which the forthcoming summer was also probably going to suck. (And suck it did.)

Almost a year later to the day, I’m back with much of the same. Per a report from Reuters, summer travel is expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels, which is all well and good, save for the fact that — due to “production problems” at Boeing and Airbus — aircraft deliveries have “dropped off.” In short, there aren’t enough available planes to support the impending crush of travelers. Seen this movie, roll credits.

“Passenger carriers will receive 19% fewer aircraft this year than they expected because of production issues at Boeing and Airbus,” Martha Neubauer, senior associate at AeroDynamic Advisory, told Reuters. Further, U.S. carriers will receive even fewer…32% to be exact. All this off the International Air Transport Association (IATA) prediction from late last year that we would see a 9% annual growth in global airline capacity in 2024. 

Boeing Woes Continue as Engine Cover Rips Off Southwest Plane
The incident happened during takeoff in Denver, forcing the flight to turn around

For the uninitiated, this is all largely due to that Alaska Airlines incident — the one where the panel blew out mid-flight — which brought Boeing’s production of the 737 MAX, an aircraft that many major airlines rely on, to a standstill. Thus, while there are a few work-arounds (expensive repairs to older models, leases, etc.), some carriers, United and Southwest among them, are still having to trim their summer flight schedules.

To that end, all signs appear to point to another to yet another summer travel shitshow. Around this time last year, several U.S. carriers were slashing service to the New York metropolitan area due to a shortage of air traffic controllers, as well as flight attendants, pilots, ground crew and airport food service workers. Now that the workers are accounted for, planes are in short supply.

That said, if there is good news to be gleaned here, it’s that we’re acclimated to it. We know to book sooner rather than later, to expect to pay a premium and to brace for disappointment when it all invariably goes south.

Exit mobile version