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Delta Air Lines cancels flights due to staff shortages and opens up middle seats



Detroit—Due to staff shortages, Delta Air Lines cancelled about 100 flights on Sunday and opened the middle seats one month earlier than expected to carry more passengers.

The airline said that the number of passengers in the past few days has exceeded one million, which is the highest number since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

The airline said in a statement on Sunday: “We apologize for the inconvenience, and most airlines have already booked the ticket on the same day.”

Delta DAL,
+ 1

.14%
Take measures to increase passenger capacity, including opening middle seats on Sundays and Mondays to accommodate passengers.

On Wednesday, the airline announced that it will stop blocking the middle seats from May. This was taken in April last year to make the distance between travelers farther and farther. The CEO of Delta Air Lines has repeatedly invoked this policy to increase trust in airlines. The airline said that as air travel resumes and more people begin to receive vaccinations against COVID-19, these seats will be reopened.

Delta Air Lines stated that the middle seat is only open on Sundays and Mondays, and its seat restriction policy has not changed. It can be unimpeded where needed, so that customers can reach their destination on the same day.

The airline said in a statement: “Delta’s team has been working through various factors, including staffing, a large number of employee vaccinations, and the return of pilots to active duty.” Some employees have had adverse side effects due to vaccinations.

On Sunday, the websites of three Delta hubs showed 33 cancelled arrival or departure flights. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has 19, Detroit Metropolitan Airport has 11, and Minneapolis Street has 3. Paul Airport.

Delta Air Lines said on Wednesday that nearly 65% ​​of Delta Air Lines passengers last year hoped to take at least one dose of the new vaccine by May 1.

The aviation industry is divided on the utility of blocking the middle seat to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in flight. Including Delta Air Lines, Southwest LUV,
+ 0.39%,
Alaska ALK,
+ 0.40%
And JetBlue JBLU,
+ 0.15%
Limited seats for months, and United Airlines UAL,
+ 0.49%
Never cooperated with American AAL
-0.17%
This is only short-lived.

Even when the middle seat is empty, social distancing on the plane is difficult, if not impossible-United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby has repeatedly explained the airline’s Resistence of blocked seats.

Air travel in the United States is recovering from pandemic lows. In the past 20 days, more than 1 million passengers have passed through US airports every day, although the number of visits in March dropped by nearly half compared to the same month in 2019.

The number of people entering the critical summer season is on the rise. Last summer was an airline disaster, causing Delta Air Lines to lose more than 12 billion U.S. dollars for the whole year. Airlines are eager to increase revenue as soon as possible, which means selling more seats.


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