American Airlines will cut service to three cities after Labor Day weekend due to staff shortages, marking the airline industry’s latest setback among thousands of cancellations and curtailments over the past last months.
An airline spokesperson said the company would discontinue service to Toledo, Ohio; Ithaca, NY; and Islip, NY, on Sept. 7 in response to a “shortage of regional pilots.”
“We are extremely grateful for the care and service our team members have provided to our customers in Islip, Ithaca and Toledo, and we are working closely with them during this time,” the spokesperson said in a statement. email to The Hill. “We will proactively contact customers who are due to travel after this date to offer alternative arrangements.”
Travel demand has increased, with large numbers of Americans taking trips for the first time since the pandemic began. The Transportation Security Administration said it screened about 2.44 million people at airports on Friday, a higher total than any other day since Nov. 28, 2021.
Meanwhile, airlines have struggled to meet growing demand after cutting millions of jobs at the height of the pandemic, driving up prices.
Thousands of flights were canceled or delayed last weekend before Father’s Day and June 16.
Delta Air Lines cut 100 flights from its daily schedule between July 1 and August 7, and the company’s pilots wrote an open letter to customers published Thursday saying they were working a “record amount” of overtime to reduce the high number of cancellations.
Other airlines have also reduced their schedules. Southwest Airlines cut 20,000 flights this summer, the Dallas Morning News reported.
American is also making changes to eight other routes, which the airline spokesperson said is to better match the current demand environment. All of these routes include one of the airline’s hub airports as the origin or destination city.
Three regional carriers wholly owned by American – PSA Airlines, Envoy Air and Piedmont Airlines – recently announced contractual agreements with American that include “significant salary increases” as part of efforts to attract and retain pilots, according to the report. ‘Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), a pilot union representing employees.
Pilots working at PSA Airlines, which operates 800 daily flights for American, will receive an additional 50% pay rise for two years.
“The new PSA agreements will not only help PSA hire and retain quality pilots, but will set the standard for other regional carriers to follow suit,” said John Ebbert, President of ALPA’s PSA Pilots Group. , in a press release.