American Airlines canceled 850 flights on Sunday, 16% of the airline’s total flights, as a result of bad weather conditions and staff shortages. The flights canceled were a range of both domestic and international flights. Since Friday, American Airlines has now canceled 1,739 flights. On Friday, 343 were canceled, whereas Saturday saw 548 cancelations.
These latest cancelations come amid bad weather conditions around the country, mainly at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The Dallas/Fort Worth airport experienced severe winds that reduced arrival capacity by about more than half. This, in turn, affected the business runnings of American Airlines as a whole. Once flights were canceled or delayed, this impacted their staff — and led to even more flight cancelations, as flight members were now out of their flight sequences.
These latest cancellations come amid a labor shortage that has affected countless industries in the United States. A few months ago, flight cancellations rose while bookings dropped, mainly because the Delta variant of COVID-19 caused many Americans to once again grow wary of flying. However, infections have finally slowed down in the country for weeks now, and more Americans are flying again.
Many airlines are also facing labor shortages, just as so many other industries are also struggling. These staff shortages are obviously greatly impacted by bad weather conditions. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, American Airlines furloughed 17,500 employees, though most of these workers are now fully back to work. 1,800 flight attendants are also set to return from leave this upcoming week, which will help with staff shortages. Plus, about 600 new flight attendants are about to start after recently being hired.
All of these staffing changes come amid a busy end of the year, as many people travel during the winter months, and especially during the holidays. American Airlines, therefore, may need to continue to hire more staff to ensure that these busy months go by smoothly.
American Airlines isn’t the only airline in the country that has struggled coming out of the pandemic amid this labor shortage. Many other airlines are still struggling to return to normal working operations. For example, Southwest also canceled flights earlier this month. The airliner canceled about 2,400 flights in a three-day period as a result of bad weather and air traffic issues.
Other airline companies are also looking to hire more workers before the busy end of the year season officially begins. Southwest is also looking to hire, looking to add about 5,000 new employees before 2021 is officially over. American Airlines may also need to hire this amount of new workers to be able to keep this mass amount of flight cancelations from happening again.
Towards the end of the year, flights can often be canceled as the weather gets colder and more treacherous. Therefore, ensuring that there are enough employees in case this does happen is a must for American Airlines. If they accurately hire enough workers, then the company feels it will have a successful end of the year.