|Published:||Sep 20, 2012 11:26 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 20, 2012 5:03 PM EDT|
DALLAS (AP) - American Airlines and American Eagle say they will cancel 300 flights this week to cope with a high number of pilots reporting sick and an increase in maintenance reports filed by crews.
That's 1.25 percent of the 24,000 flights that were scheduled by the two airlines, which are owned by AMR Corp.
There is a cancellation this weekend that effects Southwest Florida. The flight to Chicago O'Hare (flight 1465) is cancelled for Saturday and Sunday (both arrival and departure flights). There is a cancellation on September 27 of the same flight to Chicago. This is subject to change.
Ticket holders should check with the American Airlines website to keep updated on the status of their flights.
The two airlines had already canceled 249 flights this week by Wednesday afternoon, a flight-tracking service said, suggesting that cancelations might far exceed American's estimate.
AMR said Wednesday that it canceled the flights in advance to avoid inconveniencing passengers. Earlier this week, American said it would cut its schedule through the end of October by up to 2 percent.
American has seen an increase in flight cancelations since early this month, when a federal bankruptcy judge allowed the company to impose new pay and work rules on pilots. The pilots had rejected the company's last contract offer in August.
Each day this week, American has canceled more flights than any U.S. airline, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.
By late Wednesday afternoon, American and Eagle had canceled 73 flights, more than the next five airlines combined. They canceled 104 flights on Tuesday and 72 flights on Monday, FlightAware said.
In a note to operations managers, American said it was telling frequent fliers why it's been experiencing cancelations and delays. It is letting customers fly standby for earlier flights at no extra charge, and giving crews more leeway to hand out light snacks to delayed passengers.
The company said it's also offering overtime and adjusting work schedules for reservations and airport employees, and is moving maintenance crews to where they are needed most.
AMR is trying to slash annual labor costs by about $1 billion as it reorganizes under bankruptcy protection. Eight of its nine union labor groups ratified cost-cutting contracts, with pilots the lone holdout.
American Airlines issued the following statement:
"We are confident in the causes of the recent operational challenges of flight cancellations and delays. Prior to the recent issues, American had been running a good operation, with on-time performance and reliability measures at their best levels in many years The recent disruptions are primarily due to the significant increase in maintenance write-ups by our pilots, many right at the time of departure.
Additionally, continued higher-than-normal sick usage by pilots, which has been up more than 20 percent year over year and has been elevated for months, impacts the availability of reserve pilots, which can ultimately lead to cancellations. Our pilot staffing - without the recent actions regarding maintenance write-ups and the continued increase in sick time - is adequate to meet our scheduling needs and recalling pilots from furlough would not be needed.
First, we apologize to all of our customers for the inconvenience this has caused. We understand how irritating and unfortunate this is in interrupting or delaying their travel plans. We appreciate their patience and hope for their understanding. We also appreciate very much the extra and difficult work this has caused so many of our people and especially appreciate the fabulous job our maintenance crews have been doing in taking care of these additional write-ups and getting planes back on schedule as fast as possible. In addition, our inventory of spare parts is at the highest level in years.
American has taken significant steps to try to limit the impact on our customers. We have carefully selected some 300 flights this week to pre-cancel to allow us to re-accommodate passengers in advance. And, through October we have reduced our schedule 1 to 2 percent as well. In addition, we have increased staffing in all other areas to assist in re-accommodating customers and are reaching out to customers proactively to notify them of the options available and the ability to standby for earlier flights at no charge.
We remain committed to doing all we can to serve our customers to provide safe, reliable transportation, just as they have always expected and received from American Airlines." -- Bruce Hicks, American Airlines spokesman
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- LCSO investigates a death at Edison State College
- Human remains found on Shell Point Blvd.
- Cape woman suffers serious burns after morning kitchen fire
- Ohio cop, wife face child neglect charge in Fla.
- FCAT writing results show improvement for Lee students
- Dr. Burke gives last speech before retirement
- Investigators: suspect lit flares in attic of Gateway home
- Collier deputies arrest 12 y/o girl for library bomb threat
- Lee Dept. of Health offers free pool testing kit
- Fla. woman meets son she gave up for adoption