American Airlines Will Cancel Hundreds of Flights Due to Staffing Shortages
The airline will reportedly be cancelling 50 to 80 flights a day well into the summer.
As the pandemic winds down and travel restrictions are lifted, airlines are seeing an influx of flights as business begins to return to normal.
Many airlines, like most companies, saw mass layoffs and employee exits during the height of the pandemic and have been struggling to acclimate back to normal.
American Airlines (AAL) was no exception, with an estimated loss of nearly 30,000 employees in 2020 — and now the airline is dealing with the consequences.
Over the weekend, the airline began cancelling hundreds of flights due to lack of staff, weather-related disruptions and other unrelated maintenance issues, naturally sending customers into a frenzy.
CNBC reported that about 4% of the airline's "mainline" schedule of flights were cancelled on Saturday, with another 6% being cancelled on Sunday.
"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," American Airlines said in a statement. “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.”
The airline will reportedly be cancelling 50 to 80 flights a day (about 1% of its total flight schedule) well into the summer, notifying customers if the flights they booked are being cancelled.
American isn’t the first airline to face these issues.
Last week, Southwest Airlines was under fire after delaying and cancelling hundreds of flights due to two unrelated technical glitches.
Most recently, American asked employees staffed in its Dallas-Fort Worth hub to help volunteer for shifts during the summer to help out with the travel rush, revealing a desperate need for new workers.
The airline industry at large saw an estimated brutal loss of $370 billion in the year 2020.
American is up a solid 47% year over year after a devastating loss of business during the pandemic.