Desperate airlines are replacing planes with buses to try to address the shortage of pilots on short-haul routes

Many US airlines are now so in need of staff that they have replaced planes with buses on some of the shorter routes.

Many airlines, including American Airlines, have chartered bus companies to carry passengers when distances are small.

The Americans will be transporting people between Philadelphia and many other airports that would only be a short distance away by air.

Service will begin June 3 between Philadelphia International and airports in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Atlantic City, New Jersey with the bus company called Landline.

Meanwhile, United offers comprehensive connectivity to both Fort Collins and Breckenridge, with four daily buses from Denver to the first and only one to the second.

American Airlines will transport people between Philadelphia and several pairs of airports that are only a short distance away by air

The bus services come as US airlines face a pilot shortage, forcing them to ramp up training programs and even recruit pilots from abroad.

Breeze Airways, a discount carrier and SkyWest, are hiring foreign pilots from Australia in a bid to increase staff numbers.

The industry is also increasing wages in hopes of attracting and retaining pilots.

An average of 14,500 new pilots each year through 2030, according to federal labor statistics.

The land line, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, has similar deals with Sun Country Airlines in seven cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The land line, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, has similar deals with Sun Country Airlines in seven cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“The shortage of pilots in the industry is real and most airlines will simply not be able to meet their capacity plans because there are simply not enough pilots, at least not for the next five years or more,” said an officer at United Airlines last week. during a conference call. “

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“This is likely to force United to keep 150 regional aircraft grounded despite the increased domestic demand for travel,” he said.

Land and US airlines did not mention the shortage of pilots, instead offering bus service as an “easier way” to get between Philadelphia Airport and Lehigh International Airport in Allentown 73 miles away, and Atlantic City International Airport, 56 miles away.

It will help customers connect to international flights from Philadelphia, said Brian Znutins, US vice president of network planning.

United Airlines in Denver is also planning to carry some of its passengers

United Airlines in Denver is also planning to carry some of its passengers

America’s regional subsidiary, American Eagle, operates flights from Allentown to Chicago and Charlotte, North Carolina. The Fort Worth, the airline does not serve Atlantic City.

Landline, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, has similar deals with United Airlines in Denver and Sun Country Airlines in seven cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The company said it raised $28 million to expand its geographic reach.

Even before the pandemic, airlines were facing a staff shortage when it came to pilots.

When Covid struck, the travel downturn resulted in thousands of pilots furloughing or retiring early.

He said he has left the industry struggling to recover when travel resumes Bloomberg This now means that airlines are unable to find enough qualified crews to fully remap routes.

Breeze Airways, a budget airline, plans to hire some of its pilots from Australia

Breeze Airways, a budget airline, plans to hire some of its pilots from Australia

“This is going to be one of the biggest constraints facing the industry going forward,” Ben Minicucci, CEO of Alaska Airlines, said last week during a call.

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Airlines anticipate a huge boon for the travel industry in the summer of 2022.

The number of tickets sold in February for travelers between June and August of this year was down just 3% from February 2019, but carriers have scaled back their schedules compared to pre-pandemic times.

In the summer of 2021, scheduled flights are down 16% from the summer of 2019.

This year, United says flights will be down 13% from 2019, with Delta Air Lines forecasting a 16% drop. America will fall by about 8% with Alaska by 9%. JetBlue has cut 10% of its summer flights.

Airlines were anticipating a huge boon to the travel industry for the summer of 2022. Pictured, during the pandemic, many planes were parked.  An American sheltered some planes in Pittsburgh

Airlines were anticipating a huge boon to the travel industry for the summer of 2022. Pictured, during the pandemic, many planes were parked. An American sheltered some planes in Pittsburgh

JetBlue said that while it has already hired 2,500 new workers this year, it still hasn’t been able to fill all the vacancies needed for an entire summer schedule.

Joanna Giragati, COO and President of JetBlue, said in an email to employees obtained by CNBC last week.

The problems are made worse by the smaller regional carriers as many pilots have relocated and been hired by the larger carriers.

We don’t have regional planes flying in the summer at the moment [that] We would like, said US CEO, Robert Isom CNBC. This is a great opportunity for people who want to come and fly planes. They can earn a lot of money.

“That’s the focal point,” Fay Malarkey Black, chief executive of the regional airline association, told Bloomberg. We haven’t seen this level of service loss since right after 9/11, when that crisis changed the equation for aviation. I expect this bad situation to get worse before it gets better, no matter what we do.

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