Cuts blamed for US airline chaos

US aviation experts have blamed airlines' efforts to cut costs as the reason behind the aviation system's struggle to recover from snowstorms that closed New York's airports this week.

Flights are so full and scheduled so tightly that there is little room for a quick recovery when airports are closed, industry analysts said. Stranded passengers' complaints may prompt reviews by air carriers and regulators.

"When your planes are all 90pc and you cancel a flight, it's going to take you another 10 flights to re-accommodate all those passengers," said Darryl Jenkins, a Virginia-based aviation industry consultant. "We won't be able to re-accommodate everybody."

Airlines have reduced seating capacity by 9.1pc and full-time equivalent employment by 14pc in the past five years.