MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the country returns to normal, millions of Americans are making summer travel plans and some major airlines are struggling to keep up with the demand.
American Airlines, which has a major hub at Miami International Airport, has announced it will cancel nearly one thousand flights through mid-July because of a series of problems including pilot shortages. American said it will proactively canceling 50 to 80 flights a day.READ MORE: 83-Year-Old Former Cuban Political Prisoner Fighting To Keep Her Home
So far, June has been a rough month for American. Its operations saw major disruptions on nine of the first 15 days of the month, causing long lines, delays, and cancelations.
“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 labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with and the incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand, has led us to build in additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying through mid-July,” American said in a statement.
The airline said that four flights at their MIA hub were canceled on Monday out of 280 flights they had scheduled for the day. In all, they said they canceled about one percent of their scheduled flights.
“We made targeted changes with the goal of impacting the fewest number of customers by adjusting flights in markets where we have multiple options for re-accommodation,” American said in the statement.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Employees Must Show Proof Of COVID Vaccination Or Test Weekly Starting Aug. 16
Southwest Airlines has also been hit with delays and cancelations due to weather and a three-day series of computer issues. Monday both airlines again saw hundreds of cancelations and more than a thousand delays.
“The airlines were caught with their pants down. They scheduled too many flights and they didn’t have enough people ready to operate the flights, operate the airports, and, the companies that they work with were short too,” said airline industry analyst Henry Harteveldt.
As American ramped up flights from 2,200 a day during the pandemic to about 5,800 this month, they were hit by shortages both at the gate and in the air. Some American pilots were still in post furlow re-training…
“You didn’t have enough pilots to fly the airplanes. Pretty simple. The metal and the people didn’t come together and now you’re surrendering the schedule,” said Captain Dennis Tajer.
American is seeing more cancelations, many of them were pre-planned in advance so people were notified well before they got to the airport and could be re-accommodated.MORE NEWS: Filmmakers Create Public Service Announcement Videos To Save Biscayne Bay
Delta Airlines says it’s going to hire a thousand new pilots before next summer. The first new hire class will be pilots who had been offered a job before the pandemic but had that opportunity put on hold.