Is American Airways Experiencing An Operational Meltdown?

In response to many information sources, American Airways has needed to cancel over 100 flights per day this previous weekend.  The cancellation wave has continued into in the present day.  What’s going on and the way lengthy will this final?

Photograph credit score: Willsdad by way of artistic commons.

The Cancellations Start

American Airways cancelled 123 flights of Saturday, 178 flights on Sunday and 97 have been cancelled for in the present day.  I believe that the cancellations began at the very least per week prior.  Tomorrow I’m headed to Zurich Switzerland flying a mixture of flights on American and British Airways:

  • AA 1667 from Seattle to DFW,
  • AA 50 from DFW to LHR and
  • BA 712 from LHR to Zurich.

As within the case of any itinerary with connecting flights, the successor flights are depending on the predecessor fllight arriving on time.  Per week in the past, I began wanting on the each day efficiency of AA 1667 and AA 50 and what I noticed made me nervous.  Wanting particularly at AA 1667, that is what I noticed:

  • Saturday, June twelfth, this flight was 5 hours late departing SEA,
  • Monday, June 14th, this struggle was cancelled and
  • Wednesday, June sixteenth, this flight was cancelled.

Ameican is now saying that fifty – 60 cancellations per day may final by means of the tip of July.

Locations Are Opening Again Up

The Covid vaccine has modified the panorama of journey.  Because the vaccinations rise so do the locations each within the U. S. and around the globe are opening again up.  Individuals are uninterested in being caught at dwelling.  Summer time is right here and persons are able to discover.  This pent up demand is a significant driver of the scenario going through American Airways.


One of many points going through American Airways is a scarcity of pilots, particullary the pilots for Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 plane.  After the pandemic hit and pilots have been furloughed, there have been plenty of these pilots that retired or left American Airways to search out new employment alternatives.  Apart from the pilot scarcity, recalling or hiring new pilots isn’t a fast course of.  Pilots have quite a bit or necessities as a way to keep the certifications to fly business plane:

  • Pilots might have to get within the queue to resume their FAA flight physicals,
  • Pilots may have recurrency coaching,
  • Pilots might should be line checked with a coaching captain and
  • Pilots might should be up to date on airline operational insurance policies.

There are airline jobs the place you’ll be able to rent an worker in the present day they usually can begin working tomorrow.  Airline pilots can’t return or start work in a brief span of time.


The pandemic compelled airways to park a considerable a part of their fleets in desert places.  These plane must be introduced again on-line and ferried again to airline upkeep bases.  A few of this plane have been parked on a short-term foundation the place they have been saved maintained for a fast return to service.  The plane that have been parked in “deep storage” might want to endure upkeep and testing to certify them as airworthy earlier than they are often ferried again to the airline.

This provides to the backlog of plane which can be already within the upkeep queue.  Just like the scenario with pilots, mechanics have to have FAA airframe and powerplant (A&P) certification for the plane they work on.

Sustaining Radio Silence

What I discover most regarding in regards to the wave of cancellations is that American Airways actually isn’t making this recognized.  

“We made focused modifications with the objective of impacting the fewest variety of prospects by adjusting flights in markets the place now we have a number of choices for re-accommodation,” based on an American Airways assertion.

I’m involved that my flight tomorrow out of Seattle is likely to be cancelled.  I’ve heard nothing from American {that a} cancellation is a posibility.  Nevertheless, the current observe file for AA 1667 had two cancellations in a three-day interval.

American must do a greater job in speaking to their prospects.  

American Airways splash display with journey updates on the high.

The highest of the splash display has a block for journey updates.  That is the place American Airways needs to be notifying the buyer that they might be impacted by flight cancellations.

Closing Ideas

The opposite airways are all going through this pent up demand for airline prospects.  May or not it’s that American Airways was late to the celebration to ramp up for the resurgence of journey?  For these travelling on American Airways, verify the operational efficiency of your flights and put together to have a Plan B.

I’m working of getting a same-day change out of Seattle tomorrow from AA 1667 to the sooner AA 2748.  That may give me an additional two and a half hours to play with.  We’ll see how that goes.

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