October 4, 2022
American Airlines cancels more than 700 flights
American Airlines has canceled more than 1,000 flights since Friday, disruptions it blamed on staffing problems and high winds at its busiest hub.On Saturday, American canceled nearly 460 flights, or 17% of its mainline schedule, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines cut 86 flights, or 2% of its Saturday operation.American canceled another 285…

American Airlines has canceled more than 1,000 flights since Friday, disruptions it blamed on staffing problems and high winds at its busiest hub.

On Saturday, American canceled nearly 460 flights, or 17% of its mainline schedule, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware. The Southwest Airlines Dallas cut 86 flights. This represents 2% of the Saturday operations.

American canceled another 285 flights, or 10% of its schedule planned for Sunday, on top of 340 cancellations on Friday.

American’s COO David Seymour said in a staff note on Saturday that the problems started with high wind gusts on Thursday that cut capacity at its Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport hub and that crew members ended up out of position for their next flights. According to CNBC’s internal statistics, most cancellations occurred on Saturday and Sunday due to

Pilot availability and flight attendant availability.

” With additional weather, our staffing starts to run tight as crewmembers end up missing their regular flight sequences,” Seymour wrote. Seymour stated that the majority of customers were rebooked that day and that the operation should stabilize by November.

Airlines are experiencing staff shortages, which have caused hundreds of cancellations and other disruptions in flight operations since late spring’s rebound in travel demand. During the worst of the pandemic, thousands of employees were convinced by carriers to take voluntary leave of absence or buyouts to reduce their payroll costs.

Now they are looking to increase their staff by hiring flight attendants, pilots, ramp and customer service personnel, and other workers. Airlines are unable to recover from disruptions caused by bad weather or technological problems if they have a smaller staff.

Southwest earlier this month said that a meltdown earlier this month in which it canceled more than 2,000 flights cost it $75 million. The company also stated that it would continue to reduce its 2021 schedule, following earlier cuts to avoid further disruptions.

American Airlines’ Seymour said that 1,800 flight attendants would be returning from leave starting Nov. 1 and that the rest would be back by December. It said it also is in the process of hiring pilots, mechanics, airport workers and reservations agents “so more team members will be in place for the holiday season.”

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