Want to get an airline CEO fired up? Cause flight delays by furloughing many of the nation's air traffic controllers. Airline CEOs hate that.
Several have raised the issue this week as airlines post quarterly earnings and was Jeff Smisek's turn Thursday. The chief at United Continental Holdings Inc. said delays caused by the furloughs are affecting about 20,000 United passengers per day.
Smisek: The furloughs "have disrupted air travel across the nation. We are disappointed that the FAA chose this path that maximizes customer disruptions and damage to airlines instead of choosing a less disruptive method to comply with its budget obligations.
"Our top priority is to minimize the effect of the air traffic controller furloughs on our customers. Our professionals in our network operations center are working literally around the clock to minimize the impact of the FAA's irresponsible actions on our customers."