American Airlines said it canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend due to staffing shortages, maintenance and other issues, challenges facing the carrier as travel demand surges toward pre-pandemic levels.
As of Monday morning, the airline company has canceled over 376 flights all the way through the month of July, with hundreds more delays stacking up as well. The cancelations come as the company struggles to meet the massive increase in travel demands across the country due to loosening COVID-19 restrictions. A spokesperson from the airline told CNN that the first few weeks of June brought an “unprecedented” number of travelers to the company’s largest airports. “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 spokesperson said. It is rumored that the cancelations are also partially due to pilots who are not fully trained on a handful of new Boeing 737 airplanes.
While it may only equate to about one percent of their total flights, the resulting cancelations are a huge blow as travel demands ramp up for the summer. More than 2.1 million travelers hit airports on Sunday, the highest number of travelers so far this year, and quadruple the number of last year. “Our focus this summer – and always – is on delivering for our customers no matter the circumstances,” said airline spokesperson Derek Walls in a statement. “We never want to disappoint and feel these schedule adjustments will help ensure we can take good care of our customers and team members and minimize surprises at the airport.
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