As the busy summer travel season comes to a close, the airlines are adjusting schedules to meet the slower demand. The business travel segment has not yet fully recovered, and international restrictions are suppressing travel demand. The recent rise of the delta variant of COVID-19 appears to be impacting passenger sentiment and bookings. At Wichita Eisenhower Airport, there will be 6% fewer flights in September than in August, from 896 flights in August to 846 flights. Compared to September 2020, however, ICT will have 33% more flights. The biggest changes are noted below:
- Destin season ends Sept. 6
- Orlando-Sanford season ends Aug. 14
- Tampa-St. Pete begins November 19
- Orlando-Sanford winter season begins November 18
- Denver nonstop service will be temporarily suspended in September; will resume Nov. 4
- Las Vegas remains unchanged
- Las Vegas service returns in September, Saturday only
- Las Vegas service on Saturday and Sunday in November and December
- Phoenix service returns in October, Saturday only
- Phoenix daily service returns in November
Pilot shortage and crew availability have been challenging for the airlines. As a result of voluntary reductions, retirements, job changes, and employer shutdowns, airline employment is short 69,000 full-time employees from pre-COVID levels.1 This is why there have been so many cancellations throughout the U.S. this summer. When storms delay flights, flight crews time out and there may not be another crew to take over.
Airlines continue to monitor bookings and make adjustments to schedules.
1Airlines for America