One of the Airline titans, American Airlines, issued a statement that it will be having to cancel hundreds of its currently scheduled flights throughout the summer due to what it’s calling a staffing shortage.
“The first few weeks of June have brought unprecedented weather to our largest hubs, heavily impacting our operation and causing delays, canceled flights and disruptions to crew member schedules and our customers’ plans,” stated Stacey Day, who is a spokeswoman for American Airlines, in an interview with The Hill.
She continued on, “That, combined with the labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with and the incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand, has led us to build in additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying through mid-July.”
Day also stated that the planned cancellations would be focused on locations that had larger airports in order to allow people to update their current plants far more easily.
“We made targeted changes with the goal of impacting the fewest number of customers by adjusting flights in markets where we have multiple options for re-accommodation,” stated Day.
Originally brought to attention by The View from the Wing travel blog, the issue that lead to the airline’s flight cancellation was thought to be a severe shortage of pilots.
This past Saturday, the blog site stated: “The issue appears to be concentrated on the Boeing 737 fleet. American’s schedule seems too big for the crew they have available, especially since they’re only midway through the process of bringing inactive pilots back online.” The site added that due to government subsidies, the airline couldn’t furlough anyone, but they “didn’t keep those pilots who were staying home active and qualified to fly. And they’re not all back yet, either.”
According to CNBC, high cancellation number for the airline:
About 6% of the airline’s mainline schedule, or 190 flights, were canceled on Sunday, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware. The airline said that equaled about 3% of its total flights, including those operated by regional carriers. An internal company list, which was viewed by CNBC, showed about half of those were because of unavailable flight crews. On Saturday, about 4% of its mainline schedule, or 123 flights, were canceled and 106 on Monday, FlightAware showed.
American said it is trimming its overall schedule by about 1% through mid-July to help ease some of the disruptions, some of which it said resulted from bad weather at its Charlotte and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport hubs during the first half of June.
As reported by Business Insider reporting that came to light this month, American Airlines cut its staff down by around 30%, meaning the firing of over 1,500 people. Back in April, the airline stated that it “expects to fly more than 90% of its domestic seat capacity compared to summer 2019 and 80% of its international seat capacity compared to 2019.”