United Airlines plans to make changes to flight operations to avoid weather-related disruptions ahead of the July 4 holiday trip, Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby said Saturday.

Recent flight disruptions have raised new concerns about whether airlines are ready to handle the summer travel boom during the first July 4th holiday, when US air traffic is likely to exceed levels pre-Covid.

«While we work to control the things that are in our control, we also need to do a better job of planning against the things that are out of our control so that we can be in a position to recover more quickly,» Kirby said in a note. .

Last month, United canceled about 19% of its scheduled flights due to thunderstorms and equipment failures at a US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) facility in Washington that caused significant delays for air travelers. on the east coast of the US

About 26,000 flights were delayed by all airlines over a weekend in June after thunderstorms ripped through parts of the US, according to data from FlightAware flight monitoring service. Kirby last week blamed the FAA for recent flight cancellations.

United Airlines is also working with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to get more gates, Kirby said, adding that the company would have to change or further reduce its hours to get more gates and buffers, particularly during the stormy season.

“Airlines can plan for things like hurricanes, freezing temperatures and snowstorms, but United has never seen an extended limited operating environment like we saw last week in Newark,” Kirby said in a note to employees.