EAGAN, Minn., June 27 (UPI) -- The number of Northwest Airlines' canceled flights at U.S. airports is growing much like the rhetoric between the airline and its pilots.
So far in June, Northwest canceled about 2,100 flights, seven times the number of flights canceled for all of June 2006. At least 192 flights were canceled Wednesday, data from FlightStats.com showed.
The company, located in Eagan, Minn., attributed cancellation surges to bad weather that affected flight crews. On Tuesday, the airline also cited higher than normal absenteeism among pilots, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Wednesday.
The Air Line Pilots Association said the carrier is too thinly staffed, and isn't hiring and training pilots quick enough.
"We tried to warn the airline" it needed more pilots, Northwest pilots union spokesman Monty Montgomery told the Detroit Free Press. "Pilots' careers and the future of their families are tied to the fate of this airline."
Mike Miller, an aviation analyst with The Velocity Group consulting firm, said industry competition, especially for business and international flights, means Northwest can ill-afford to wait.
"Northwest is not a startup airline. They need to be handling this before it gets to be part of their reputation," Miller said.