(Bloomberg) -- JetBlue Airways Corp. is preparing to trim New York flights during the upcoming “very busy” summer travel season after federal regulators asked carriers to reduce schedules by as much as 10% at some of the nation’s busiest airports.

“This summer is going to be really hard again,” Chief Executive Officer Robin Hayes said Wednesday at the Economic Club of New York. “We need to reduce flying and make sure we can operate what we’ve got.”

The reductions will occur because of a shortage in air-traffic controllers, even though JetBlue has added employees and is “good to go” for the uptick in traffic, Hayes said. Without cuts across the industry, congestion would be 45% worse than it was last summer, he said, citing the US Federal Aviation Administration. 

Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Airlines Holdings Inc. are also preparing to cut flights this summer to ease congestion and delays. 

Read more: Delta, United Eye Schedule and Congestion Cuts in Deal With FAA

Domestic travel has rebounded quickly from the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, but industry capacity is not fully restored, Hayes said. There are still far fewer than optimal air-traffic controllers at the facility that serves New York’s three major airports, according to the FAA. 

The shortage in New York has an outsized impact on the overall US aviation system, as a high percentage of aircraft either go into the region or traverse the US Northeast.

The FAA met with airlines, private-plane operators and the air-traffic controllers’ union on Wednesday to discuss how to limit flight congestion. The agency said it’s “reviewing the feedback from participants and will identify actions to improve operations this summer in the New York area.”

Carriers have until April 30 to identify what flight slots or times they are willing to temporarily give up at airports in Washington and the New York area. 

(Updates with FAA comments from sixth paragraph)

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