Cancellations Decrease at Northwest: 24 flights Scratched by Saturday Evening

Jul. 1--The cancellations that ignited frustration among thousands of Northwest Airlines customers last week waned drastically Saturday.

As of 9 p.m., there were 24 cancellations, according to www.flightstats.com. That is a sharp drop from the 150 or more cancellations that were typical on any given day in the past week. Since June 22, Northwest has canceled more than 1,000 flights.

The airline said Friday that it would reduce cancellations by the weekend. Northwest also announced several moves to free up pilot hours, including dropping one of its two daily flights to Frankfurt, Germany, and cutting its flight schedule by 90 hours a day.

Cancellations mounted in the past week as pilots refused to fly beyond the contractual limit of 90 hours a month. The Federal Aviation Administration sets the limit at 100.

Northwest has cited summer thunderstorms, air traffic congestion and pilot absenteeism as reasons for the canceled flights.

Meanwhile, the pilots union -- the Air Line Pilots Association -- has maintained that there isn't enough staff to fly the planes.

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