American Airlines has cut almost 50,000 flights from its summer schedule, with June and July being the most affected months. According to the airline, this is standard as it finalizes schedules closer to the upcoming season.
American Airlines prepares for a busy summer season
As airlines worldwide prepare for a busy summer, many expecting to reach pre-pandemic levels, some must make cuts. Earlier this week, German carrier Lufthansa announced it was cutting more than 30,000 flights from its summer schedule. European airports are also placing daily passenger caps, like the ones imposed at London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol last year.
According to schedule data from analytics firm Cirium, American Airlines has cut almost 50,000 flights this summer. Multiple American Airlines hubs are affected, but Chicago O'Hare International Airport has the most impacted schedule.
In a statement to the Dallas Business Journal, Andrea Koos said,
"We are now publishing our final schedule approximately 100 days in advance, which is in line with how we adjusted our schedule in 2019 prior to the pandemic. American is proud to offer customers the largest network of any U.S. airline through the summer, with, on average, more than 5,500 daily departures."
Cirium pulls airline data every week and has a weekly change report available. According to this week's report, 49,821 flights have been cut from May to September. Below is the breakdown of cuts per month:
May - 1,428
June - 19,947
July - 19,982
August - 8,326
September - 138
Cirium's schedule analyzer can be broken down by airline, origin, destination, and even equipment used on the route. A search of various American Airlines hubs shows Chicago is the most impacted. Below is a breakdown of changes at multiple hubs:
Chicago - 11,835
Dallas - 10,099
Charlotte - 7,980
Philadelphia - 7,616
Phoenix - 5,365
American Airlines passengers whose flights have been changed because of the schedule changes will be given alternate options to reach their destinations. Customers who are unsatisfied with the alternatives presented can seek a full refund.
Other airlines are also cutting summer schedules
Unfortunately, schedule cuts are becoming relatively normal as airlines struggle to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. When the world first shut down, no one expected the aviation industry to bounce back as quickly as it has. As a result, airlines have faced massive demands that many have been unable to meet because of issues like short staffing. Late last week, reports rose that Lufthansa was cutting more than 30,000 flights from its summer schedule, with most cuts concentrated in Munich and Frankfurt.
Lufthansa stated that short staffing continues to be a problem and that it was better to adjust its schedule now than to have large amounts of last-minute cancelations. The German carrier is faced with staffing shortages, and strikes have also been a problem for the airline over the last year. Last week, ground staff walked out, and Frankfurt and Munich airports shut down completely. As staffing problems continue to cripple airlines, other airlines in the Lufthansa Group may also have to slash their summer schedules.
This article originally appeared on Simple Flying