July 20, 2007

Bad weather make Northwest cancel seven flights

Because of bad weather, Northwest cancel seven flights of 18 scheduled to depart from Detroit Metropolitan Airport. System wide, Northwest had cancelled 22 flights of 231 scheduled departures or 9.5 percent, according to www.FlightStats.com.

As reported by Joel J. Smith at Detroit News Northwest said it was attempting to rebook the passengers on other flights.

A spokesman for the Northwest pilots union said he suspects the cancellations are storm related and having nothing to do with pilots bumping up against their 90 hour a month flying restriction. In late June, cancellations were blamed on the unavailability of crews because many had met their maximum flying hours before the end of the month. Severe weather throughout the month had played havoc with schedules, and Northwest also said the pilots had an unusually high number of sick calls during the period.

The airline said weeks ago that it was taking preemptive steps, such as tightening up its flight capacity, to make sure crew shortages didn't disrupt schedules at the end of this month and beyond.

Monty Montgomery, a spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association and a Northwest pilot, said the heavy storms that came through Detroit Thursday afternoon likely caused both inbound and outbound flights to be cancelled. He said that Northwest planes and crews end up out of position for the regular schedule and it takes a few hours to get back on track.

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