American Airlines Flight Cancellations to Continue Well Into July

By Paul Riegler on 22 June 2021
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An American Airlines Airbus A330 in Philadelphia

American Airlines announced additional cancellations going into mid-July following the cancellation of hundreds of flights over the past weekend.

The airline said that poor weather conditions at two of its hubs, namely Miami and Chicago, had exacerbated a shortage of pilots.  Only half of the airline’s pilots who were furloughed amidst the coronavirus pandemic-induced decline in travel have gone through the five days of coursework and simulator training needed to requalify them for active duty.

American, the world’s largest airline, has also reinstated more flights than its competitors.  It is operating 90% of its 2019 seat capacity according to data from the Official Airline Guide, or OAG, a firm that tracks such information.  Delta Air Lines is operating less than 80% of its pre-pandemic capacity for the same period of time and United Airlines is at less than 70%.

The airline, meanwhile, is using technology to minimize the impact felt by passengers to the extent possible.

“We have 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,” the airline said to ABC in a statement.

The timing couldn’t be worse, however.

The cancellations are taking place at a time when the travel industry is seeing a return to the skies for the first time in 15 months.  Travel levels for June are at 80% of pre-pandemic figures.  Passengers are facing long lines in airports thanks to staffing shortages the Transportation Security Administration, which runs the nation’s airport security checkpoints, is facing.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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