Airlines are taking a hit as the U.S. government shutdown continues.
The airline industry is taking the biggest hit as federal spending on the airwaves falls and airlines have to trim flights.
That’s because federal contracts, which are the backbone of the economy, are on the line this weekend.
The industry has been struggling to make ends meet.
In February, the industry saw its first drop in operating profit in more than a decade.
In January, the year-over-year drop in profit hit a record low of $1.6 billion.
“Our industry is struggling, and there is no way that we can keep up with the demand,” said Greg Siegel, a vice president with the American Airlines Pilots Association.
Siegel said it is a challenge that the industry has to make up for in other ways.
The industry is hiring.
It’s increasing its workforce.
It is hiring more pilots and ground staff.
“We need to find a way to keep up,” Siegel said.
The FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and other government agencies have stepped in to provide additional help.
Some airlines are taking it on the chin.
The National Transportation Board issued a report Thursday saying it’s not unusual for a government shutdown to cause a drop in airfares.
It said this year’s decline was the worst it has ever seen.
Some of the worst declines in airfare have been seen during the Great Recession, said John Zloch, an aviation analyst at Kelley Blue Book.
The recession caused travel to increase sharply, especially in the Northeast.
The government shutdown also has hit the economy.
The economy shrank by 0.3 percent in February, according to the Commerce Department.
Economists expect the economy to contract by 0,4 percent in March.