American Airlines Parks 100 Regional Jets Due to Pilot Shortage

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With the summer travel season underway, there is another possible hurdle to overcome for airlines.

American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said on Friday that the pilot shortage has forced the carrier to park 100 of its regional jets.

“There is a supply and demand imbalance right now, and it really is within the regional carrier ranks,” Isom said Friday at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions investor conference in New York, according to The Dallas Morning News. “We have probably 100 aircraft or almost 100 aircraft that aren’t productive right now, that aren’t flying.”

It’s not an American Airlines problem; it’s an issue that is plaguing the aviation industry worldwide. It’s been a combination of pilots forced to quit after reaching mandatory retirement age, pilots who took lucrative buyout offers during the pandemic and pilots who were simply let go.

As a result, numerous airlines have also cut back their summer schedules, including Delta, JetBlue and Southwest.

American has not made significant changes to its summer routes, but one of the culprits in this particular issue is that the airline has been able to hire pilots by luring them from regional subsidiary carriers who ferry passengers to and from smaller airports and destinations to larger airports and big cities.

Thus, the trickle-down effect has left the 50-passenger regional jets, such as Envoy, without pilots.

Yet, airlines are anticipating a monstrous summer travel season despite rising fuel prices and airfares. The Dallas Morning News noted that fares for summer travel are up about 48 percent from pre-pandemic 2019, according to travel site Hopper. Air travel over the Memorial Day Weekend holiday reached 95 percent of the capacity that flew during the same period in 2019.

Source: TravelPulse


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