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American Airlines Cancels Hundreds of Flights Until Mid-July Due to Understaffing

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American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL) announced the cancellation of hundreds of flights for the next three weeks, as the company seeks ways to cope with the bounce in demand amid U.S.’s travel industry‘s comeback.

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Struggling With the Bounce in Demand

Shannon Gibson, spokeswoman of the company, told Fox Business: “The first few weeks of June have brought unprecedented weather to our largest hubs, heavily impacting our operation and causing delays, canceled flights, and disruptions to crew member schedules and our customers’ plans.”

“That, combined with the workforce shortage some of our suppliers are facing and the incredibly rapid increase in customer demand, has led us to develop greater resilience and certainty in our operation by adjusting a fraction of our flights,” she asserted.

Gibson assured that American Airlines would scatter cancellations throughout its network, to dampen the blow in a specific area of operation –although it is believed that the airline’s Dallas-Fort Worth hub will be the most affected.

As lift demand mounts, airlines are being forced to scour for personnel to rapidly return to pre-pandemic operational levels. According to OAG, “global capacity continues to climb slowly with another 1.5 million seats added compared to the previous week, a 2% improvement.”

Expert John Grant says that the industry is now at 72.4 million seats a week. “Although that sounds a lot, we remain at around one-third pre-pandemic levels and nearly 38% below the capacity on offer in the same week of 2019.”

Airbus: “A Rollercoaster Year”

Despite the positive outlook within the airline industry, 2021 has proved to be a rollercoaster year also affecting original equipment manufacturers and suppliers. After solid growth between 2018 and early 2020, the industry had to do a fast rundown, with aircraft manufacturing operating at much lower rates.

As explained by Airbus Group (BME:AIR) CEO Guillaume Faury, bringing back the airline business from the pandemic slump is all about anticipation and planning, as well as scheduling, recruiting, and onboarding staff to be ready on time.

“That is the reason why, moving forward, we have tried to be as transparent as we can, indicating what we think will happen.”

Amid the crisis, Airbus has been working closely with airlines by rescheduling delivery of their wide-body aircraft –specifically A330 and A350 models.

“However, the situation of several airlines is critical, prompting aircraft manufacturers to sit down and look at the situation as it is, and work hard to find outcomes that are more manageable,” he told CNN.