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JetBlue Making Cuts To Summer Flight Schedule Because Of 'Challenging Staffing Situation'

BOSTON (CBS/CNN) -- JetBlue Airways is slashing as much as one in every 10 flights from its summer schedule despite what it calls heavy demand for travel.

JetBlue said it is canceling 8% to 10% of flights starting in May through the summer following a weekend of widespread cancellations it blamed on severe weather and an "already challenging staffing situation."

JetBlue has delayed or canceled one in every five flights on Monday, according to the tracking website FlightAware. There were 15 cancellations at Logan Airport, and dozens more were delayed.

JetBlue 'planning more conservatively'

"Given we anticipate continued industry challenges and heavy demand into the summer, we are planning more conservatively and trying to be proactive where we can with cancellations due to disruptive weather and air traffic control events," JetBlue said in a statement to WBZ-TV.

The shortage of pilots and crew is affecting other airlines as well, hamstrung by a surge in spring break travelers but less staff.

Alaska Airlines said last week it is "reducing about 2% of our total flights through the end of June to match our current pilot capacity."

Delta Air Lines pilots are protesting the airline's schedule that they say leaves them overworked.

JetBlue says it has hired more than 3,000 new crew members in 2022.

"While we believe April will continue to be challenging, we are bringing on hundreds of new crew members each week as we prepare for summer travel," JetBlue said.

Airline expert Bill Swelbar said the delays couldn't come at a worse time, when Boston is buzzing with marathon excitement.

"When things start to become unraveled, they unravel quickly," he said. "People are going to want to get to Boston, so of course JetBlue is going to want to put capacity in the air. But you can't capacity in the air if you don't have people there to deliver the product.

(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN's Pete Muntean contributed to this report.)


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