American Nixes Flights on Weekend

American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) said it canceled hundreds of flights this weekend due to staffing shortages, maintenance and other issues, challenges facing the carrier as travel demand surges toward pre-pandemic levels.

About 6% of the airline’s mainline schedule, or 180 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. About half of those were because of unavailable flight crews, showed a company list. On Saturday, about 4%, or 123 flights, were canceled, the site 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.

Said an airline spokesperson, "The bad weather, 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."

Dennis Tajer, spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American’s roughly 15,000 pilots, said the company should offer more overtime in advance to encourage staff to fill in as well as more flexibility in pilots’ schedules to cover staffing shortages.

"They’re trying to put a Band-Aid on something that needs stitches," said Tajer, who is also a Boeing 737 captain.

AAL shares descended 24 cents, or 1.1%, to $22.05 early Monday.