HONOLULU (KHON2) — Airlines will soon be required to give flight attendants longer periods of rest between shifts, the Federal Aviation Administration announced on Tuesday.
The new rule increases the rest period from nine to 10 consecutive hours.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
“Flight attendants, like all essential transportation workers, work hard every day to keep the traveling public safe, and we owe them our full support,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in the announcement. “This new rule will make it easier for flight attendants to do their jobs, which in turn will keep all of us safe in the air.”
Earlier this year, airlines struggled with staffing shortages nationwide, resulting in canceled flights. Pilots who were left to pick up the slack have complained of fatigue, citing safety concerns. One airline even cut service to Hawaii for the rest of the year.
Just last month, off-duty pilots for six airlines picketed at airports ahead of the busy Labor Day travel weekend in support of improved working conditions. The campaign, organized by the Air Line Pilots Association, came at the end of a busy summer travel season.
The ALPA represents thousands of pilots at major U.S. airlines, including 957 pilots at Hawaiian Airlines. A spokesperson for HA said the new rule will not affect their flights or guests.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents nearly 50,000 flight attendants at 19 airlines, released this statement on Twitter:
The new rule applies to flight attendants with a scheduled duty of 14 hours or less.
Check out more news from around Hawaii
This becomes effective in 30 days, and airlines have up to 90 days to comply.