Severe weather and staff shortages have forced American Airlines to face flights cancelation on four consecutive days. With more flight cancellations added on Monday, Nov. 1, the world’s largest airline witnessed total cancelations of approximately 2,300.
On Monday, the airline recorded 340 canceled flights, accounting for 6% of its total planned flights, as of 11 a.m ET.
Together with Southwest Airlines Co. and Spirit Airlines Inc. in particular, American Airlines have increased their flight schedules in preparation for the holiday season. Their most significant challenge, however, is a lack of pilots and flight attendants.
According to the Flight attendants’ union APFA, flight attendant staffing at American is intense due to pandemic-related issues affecting the industry.
Last month, American’s pilot union announced plans to hold protests this summer at the carrier’s major hubs over work schedules, fatigue, and inadequate accommodations.
The harsh weather also impacts understaffing when the arrival capacity of American Airlines has decreased by more than half due to severe winds at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
UBS analyst Myles Walton said to Reuters that: “The airline had particular weather issues that then spiraled into rippled cancellations and were compounded by an inability to fill out schedules from their labor reserves,”
The Texas-based company is already suffering the impact of fuel and labor cost rises in the industry, now has to deal with flight cancelations as the U.S. prepares to remove restrictions on fully vaccinated travelers.
However, with nearly 1,800 flight attendants returning from leave on Monday, the company hoped to reduce some of the impacts.
American’s shares have recovered losses to trade up 1%.
Company spokeswoman Sarah Jantz indicated in a statement, “We expect considerable improvement beginning today with some residual impact from the weekend.”
In the meantime, the situation of rival airlines appears to be far better.
On Monday, Delta Air Lines Inc. said it had not recorded any weather-related cancellations so far, while United Airlines said they hadn’t faced “widespread cancellations.”