Airline ending service to Hawaii for 2022 due to pilot shortage

HONOLULU (KHON) — A shortage of pilots in the United States has led some airlines to cut their schedules. Drivers due to take over have also complained of fatigue, citing safety concerns.

One airline is even cutting service to Hawaii for the rest of the year.

Sun Country Airlines customers received this message:

“Due to the current pilot shortage affecting all U.S. airlines, Sun Country has unfortunately elected to suspend service to Honolulu, HI (HNL) for the 2022 travel season. Passengers who had booked on affected flights will be automatically refunded to their original method of payment for their booking.

Passengers do not have to do anything to get their refund. However, the airline said it was unable to provide additional reimbursement beyond reimbursement for rental cars, hotels, tickets purchased on other carriers and other expenses. .

“We apologize for any inconvenience this temporary suspension of service from Honolulu is causing our customers,” the message continued. “We are hoping for a return of service from Honolulu for the 2023 travel season.”

A Sun Country Airlines spokesperson made this statement to KHON2:

“Anticipating that we will continue to be operationally constrained by manpower, including aircrew, shortages, Sun Country is adjusting its summer flying schedule to better align with staffing and aircraft availability. We are eliminating service to Fairbanks and Honolulu – two long-haul flights that will also save on high fuel costs. We apologize to our customers for the change.

Wendy Burt, spokesperson for Sun Country Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines canceled dozens of flights ahead of the Easter holiday weekend, and rescheduling hasn’t been easy. Many cancellations are due to problems with pilot training and simulator certification.

Last week, union leaders said pilots at Southwest Airlines were suffering from an epidemic of fatigue due to poor scheduling practices, which have now spiral out of control.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) and its board of directors have sent an open letter to Southwest CEO Robert Jordan and other leaders explaining how the problems started last summer when the number of travelers is returned to normal flight capability. Along with the increase in flights, there has been an increase in pilot reports to the Aviation Safety Action Program and the Southwest Airlines Fatigue Safety Advisory Group.

“The number of fatigues has increased exponentially since last summer without any meaningful attempt by management to mitigate them,” the letter states. “April is already setting fatigue records. Fatigue, both acute and cumulative, has become Southwest Airlines’ top safety threat.

Last week, the Allied Pilots Association (APA), which represents 14,000 American Airlines pilots, filed a lawsuit to end its volunteer program which encourages pilots to participate in simulator training sessions. on their days off.


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