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Budget airlines canceled hundreds of flights this weekend

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DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images
A Spirit airline Airbus A320 is seen at gate at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on April 24, 2021

Major budget airlines canceled hundreds of flights again over the weekend, citing weather and air traffic control-related issues.

JetBlue Airways canceled 13 percent of its flights on Sunday, and Spirit Airlines canceled 14 percent of flights, according to FlightAware.

Both budget airlines also reported significant delays, including 34 percent of JetBlue’s flights and 19 percent of Spirit’s trips scheduled for the day. 

As of Sunday afternoon, JetBlue had canceled over 330 flights over the weekend, and Spirit had canceled over 470.

Just last week, JetBlue placed a $3.6 billion bid to acquire Spirit, which was already set to merge with Frontier, another budget airline. 

“After a number of tough operating days this week that began with severe weather challenges and air traffic control delays up and down the east coast, we are continuing to work to minimize impacts to our customers,” a JetBlue spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill.

“Despite hiring more than 3,000 new crewmembers already this year, like many businesses, we remain staffing constrained and these disruptions exacerbate an already challenging staffing situation,” the spokesperson added.

They added the airline expected “April will continue to be challenging” but the company was bringing in hundreds of new employees to “prepare for summer travel.”

JetBlue has reduced its schedule in May through the summer in anticipation of high demand and continued challenges.

Similarly, Spirit spokesperson Erik Hofmeyer told USA Today that the cancellations were also because of the lasting impact of poor weather in Florida, as well as air traffic control issues.

The Hill has reached out to JetBlue and to Spirit for comment.

Last week, thousands of flights were canceled in large part due to severe weather in Florida. Last Sunday’s cancellations included 35 percent of Spirit Airlines flights, or about 300 trips, and 33 percent of JetBlue flights, accounting for some 360 flights.

Updated: 10:08 p.m.

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