Due to a shortage of pilots, American Airlines has halted service to three destinations. Citing a “regional pilot shortage,” the airline announced that starting on Sept. 7 it will suspend flying to Toledo, Ohio, Ithaca, New York, and Islip, New York. While this scarcity is unlikely to impair summer travel plans, it does highlight the airline industry’s unstable nature.
An American Airlines representative stated, “We’re extremely grateful for the care and service our team members provided to our customers in Islip, Ithaca, and Toledo, and are working closely with them during this time. We’ll proactively reach out to customers scheduled to travel after this date to offer alternate arrangements.”
The Washington Examiner reports that hundreds of flights were delayed or canceled during the Father’s Day weekend because of additional flights and a shortage of staff to account for the influx. As families contemplate getaways in the post-pandemic era, travel needs have grown as well. Airlines are also having difficulty recapturing past profit margins. According to figures issued on Monday by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global airlines are anticipated to lose $9.7 billion in 2022. This would be a big improvement on the airline industry’s anticipated $42.1 billion loss in 2021 due to the pandemic. According to the IATA, this deficit should turn into a profit by 2023.
Additionally, airlines may face more federal oversight if they fail to meet customer expectations. According to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the Transportation Department is considering taking action against airlines that fail to account for anticipated flight disruptions in the coming months.