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American Airlines cancels 1,400 flights due to staff shortages, bad weather

American Airlines cancels 1,400 flights due to staff shortages, bad weather
An American Airlines plane. (Photo: AFP)

WASHINGTON: American Airlines has cancelled more than 1,400 flights this weekend due to staff shortages and bad weather, it said on Saturday (Oct 29). 

The US airline cancelled 551 flights on Saturday and 480 flights on Sunday, in addition to the 376 flights it cancelled on Friday. 

American Airlines CEO David Seymour said in a memo to staff that the difficulties began on Thursday with strong wind storms that blocked capacity at the company's Dallas hub and delayed staff positioning for upcoming flights.

Seymour said that with additional weather issues, staffing "begins to run tight as crew members end up out of their regular flight sequences". 

He said he hoped that operations would be restored "quickly with the start of a new month". 

He also announced the return of 1,800 employees who had been on standby since the pandemic and the hiring of another 600 people by the end of December, as well as 4,000 airport employees.

Most travellers affected by the cancellations were able to rebook for the same day, said the airline, which operates 6,700 daily flights worldwide to 350 destinations in 50 countries.

American Airlines is not the first airline to suffer a staffing shortage as travel demand picks up with vaccinations and the lifting of restrictions.

Earlier this month, Southwest canceled nearly 2,400 flights over a three-day period, blaming unfavorable weather and air traffic issues in Florida.

Southwest is also hiring aggressively, with the aim of having about 5,000 new employees by the end of this year.

Source: AGENCIES/vc

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