Northwest’s CEO has promised to fix their awful cancellation problem, and has apologized to to the thousands of passengers his company has stranded and/or inconvenienced. Northwest blames pilot absenteeism as the reason for the canceled flights.
On Tuesday, Steenland outlined the steps being taken to address the cancellation problem, and said he hopes those steps will prevent a recurrence of the cancellation problem in late August.
Those steps, some of which had been previously announced, include:
Fewer flights. Reducing Northwest’s domestic August flight schedule 4% to increase the supply of “reserve” pilots who can fill in on flights late in the month.
Recalling pilots. All furloughed Northwest pilots who want to return should have now received a date to report back for re-training, the airline says. Re-training will take several months to complete.
New pilots. Northwest says it will hire an undetermined number of pilots once the furloughed pilots are back at work.
New scheduling procedures. Talking with Air Line Pilots Association leaders about ways to modify the scheduling process to address their concerns about pilot workload, excessive numbers of days away from home and other issues.
Northwest’s canceled flights in June and July have cost it $25 million in lost revenue. The outlines steps look like a good start, but if it were us we’d wait to see how they work out before we’d risk flying Northwest.