On the one hand, airlines with high passenger volumes are not expected to have a high profitability rate, as they are able to take advantage of the lower cost of fuel and reduce their risk of financial losses.
But on the other hand, some airlines are not able to afford to pay their pilots enough to get them through the summer and fall.
For example, American, United and Delta have been hit by several airline-related controversies, including the suspension of the flight of one pilot for allegedly stealing passengers’ bags.
On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it was suspending the service of a Boeing 757-200ER for three weeks in response to a series of safety and security breaches on that aircraft.
“It’s not just the safety issue, but we need to understand the costs to the airlines that are paying for these incidents,” said Ryan Kallman, an aviation analyst at the airline consulting firm DLA Piper.
“That’s a critical element for the industry and I think we need more information about this.”
The Federal Aviation Agency’s investigation was triggered by a complaint from a whistleblower who claimed that a crew member at American Airlines, a subsidiary of US Airways, had allegedly stolen from a passenger a luggage bag belonging to another passenger.
The whistleblower claimed that the crew member, identified only as “A,” was responsible for a series that occurred on the 757’s flight from Miami to Louisville, Kentucky.
The airline said it would reimburse the passenger for the loss, but that the airline has already made an additional payment of $1,700 to cover the “significant loss” of the bag.
The investigation into the alleged theft is ongoing.
US Airways is not the only carrier to suffer a series-related safety breach on its flights.
In June, a passenger on a flight from Minneapolis to Boston was left stranded after the plane landed at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, where it was expected to return to the airport.
The plane landed safely but, on board, passengers were allowed to take their bags, but not the luggage themselves.
American Airlines confirmed to Al Jazeera that the passenger, who is a flight attendant, was removed from the flight and taken to a hotel to rest and recover.
US airlines were not the first to be hit by a series involving thefts of luggage.
In May, US Airways said it had experienced a series on its Newark Liberty route, where two baggage handlers allegedly stole from a bag belonging the flight attendant and two passengers.
American said the crew members were removed from service.
In addition, US Airlines has experienced an incident on its New York-to-Atlanta flight that resulted in a number of passengers and crew members being injured and released from a medical facility.