Record number of flights canceled at Newark airport as Amazon plans crumble
Summer is a great time to travel and explore – although this summer has brought a lot of problems with air travel. If you’re planning to travel this summer, you might be worried about hearing about lost luggage, canceled and delayed flights, long security lines, and hectic travel circumstances. This chaos is not unique to New Jersey and has impacted many major local airports, although you might be wondering why Newark airport has been particularly difficult recently. Unfortunately for us residents of Newark International Airport, EWR has been hit very hard by a record number of flight cancellations. In addition to these record cancellations, we looked at other events at EWR, including now-discontinued plans for an Amazon freight hub. Read on to learn about record-breaking delays at Newark International Airport alongside collapsing hubs in Amazon’s cargo plan.
Cancellations + Delays
FlightAware, a flight tracking website, has compiled data analysis to CNN which lists Newark International Airport (EWR) as the top U.S. airport with the most cancellations so far this summer.
According to this data, 7.9% of EWR flights were canceled between May 28 and July 18. Number two on the list is Laguardia Airport at 7.4%.
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By June 2022, more than 120,000 flights across the United States had been canceled. This potentially puts 2022 on track to become the worst year for cancellations – not counting the pandemic year, 2020. The only other year to have over 200,000 cancellations was 2001 after flights were grounded due to the attacks. September 11 terrorists.
In addition to cancellations, FlightAware also reports that 30% of flights at Newark International Airport have been delayed this summer. This puts EWR at number 4 on the Top 10 most frequent delays at a US airport.
There are several reasons why this is happening now.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically dissipated air travel after the government implemented the stay-at-home order. In 2022, many citizens are looking to resume travel at a level airlines haven’t seen since pre-pandemic.
The shortage of pilots seems to be a major problem. According Newsweek and Henry Harteveldttravel industry analyst and adviser to Atmosphere Research Group, more than three times the usual number of pilots left the industry in 2020 and not enough were trained to replace them.
In addition to pilot shortages, other issues are affecting air travel, such as airlines scheduling too many flights, airline staff shortages, and bad weather.
Amazon plan collapses
Amazon, the multi-billion dollar e-commerce site, has failed to expand its empire in the tri-state area. In 2019, the company abruptly canceled plans to open a second headquarters in Queens after facing an immense amount of criticism surrounding the project.
The bid for a 20-year lease for two buildings at Newark Airport was presented to the Port Authority last August. Negotiations included two 1990s buildings at Newark Airport that were to be transformed into a 250,000 square foot cargo hub. The establishment was to open next year.
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The plan has received backlash from labor and environmental groups, saying the proposed hub would lead to increased traffic, emissions and congestion in an already low-income area that already suffers from these problems. In addition to these issues, others have criticized Amazon’s working conditions.
Negotiations between Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the airport operator, and Amazon lasted a year and ultimately failed to reach an agreement.
Huntley Lawrence, the port authority’s chief operating officer, said in a statement earlier this month. “Unfortunately, the Port Authority and Amazon were unable to reach an agreement on the final terms of the lease and mutually concluded that further negotiations would not resolve the outstanding issues.”