American Airlines canceled almost 250 more flights — or about 8 percent of its scheduled trips — on Monday morning after canceling over 1,500 flights through the weekend, blaming the travel disruptions on weather woes and staffing issues.
By 6 a.m. ET on Monday morning, American had canceled 249 flights for the day and delayed another 91, according to data from aviation tracking site FlightAware.
The recent bout of cancelations comes as the airline scrambles to recover from a messy Halloween weekend that saw the airline cancel as much as 30 percent of its scheduled flights on some days.
In a note to staff on Saturday, American COO David Seymour blamed the delays on poor weather conditions around the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the airline’s base of operations, that had displaced staff around the country, according to CNBC.
“With additional weather throughout the system, our staffing begins to run tight as crew members end up out of their regular flight sequences,” Seymour said in his note, which was obtained by CNBC.
Pilot and flight attendant availability were listed as reasons for most of the cancellations on Saturday and Sunday, according to internal tallies, which were also seen by CNBC.
Most affected customers were rebooked the same day and Seymour said he expects operations to stabilize this month.
“To make sure we are taking care of our customers and providing scheduling certainty for our crews, we have adjusted our operation for the last few days this month by proactively canceling some flights,” American said in a statement.
After massive staff cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic, Seymour announced in his note to staff that 1,800 flight attendants will be returning from leave on Nov. 1 in preparation for the holiday travel season, with more expected to return on Dec. 1, according to CNBC.
It’s the latest example of how airlines, which were devastated by the pandemic as travel was brought to a halt, are struggling to adjust to the rapid rebound in demand for air travel.
Last month, Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights in a week-long stretch as its trimmed-down staff struggled to respond to weather-related disruptions.
That debacle ultimately cost the company $75 million, the airline said.
And in August, Spirit Airlines was also hit by thousands of cancelations and blamed scheduling as a major cause. That debacle cost the company some $50 million, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based airline said.