American Airlines recently announced that they would cancel 1% of their planned July flights, even amid the uptick in travel demand in the United States. The airline company revealed that they are attempting to make their operations more seamless for customers, so these canceled flights were necessary.
Recently, the airline industry as a whole has experienced a rather large uptick in travel demand as the United States’ economy speedy reopens. Consumer demand has surged in a variety of different industries as more Americans are becoming fully vaccinated. People want to travel this summer, some after more than a year of not traveling, so leisure and travel industries specifically have experienced an increase in demand.
However, this has also left many airlines in difficult positions as a raw material and labor shortage has affected various businesses in the United States. American Airlines and other airlines have specifically felt the repercussions of this labor shortage crisis.
When they announced this 1% cut of July flights, American Airlines explained that their vendors are experiencing labor shortages, which is delaying or hampering many of their operations. Also, recent bad weather has also negatively affected their operations and forced many flight delays over the last few weeks. These delays, in turn, affected their employees, work hours, and just day-to-day operations.
So, to help situate the problems they’re currently having, they’ve decided that cutting 1% of their flights in July is the best way to go. By canceling these flights, they believe they’ll be able to be more stable this summer. To ensure that these cancellations don’t affect too many customers, they’ve only adjusted flights in markets where customers have many different options to get another flight or route.
Even though American Airlines has canceled these flights, there is no sign that travel demand will slow down any time soon. Analysts assume that travel will only increase as the summer and year progresses. Already, the United States has seen a surge in different travel methods.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration reported that about 50 million passengers registered at airports in May, an increase of 19% from the month before. For June, data has already indicated that about 35 million airport passengers have registered.
Many travel restrictions have been lifted as more Americans have become fully vaccinated. Also, individual states, cities, and counties have begun opening up more, doing away with certain regulations, allowing more Americans to travel than ever before. For example, California officially opened back up on June 15th, making many businesses there hope that tourism continues to grow in their state.
However, even though there are so many people wanting to travel now that the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing down, American Airlines and other airline companies are still having struggles they must deal with. Labor shortages is a huge one, though this may naturally be dealt with as more people reenter the workforce later this summer, and later this year.
Airlines also may have to reanalyze their international travel routes, as some countries still have regulations in place, which may hamper the number of people traveling to and from these places.