Texas-based American Airlines has announced that it will cut service to four US cities after the Labour Day holiday weekend in early September because of a pilot shortage.
The move marks the latest hiccup for the US airline industry amid a national shortage of pilots and other airline workers, and thousands of cancellations in recent months.
American Airlines (AA) will no longer serve Islip and Ithaca in New York; Toledo in Ohio; and Dubuque in Iowa beginning on September 7 due to lack of pilots, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
All four cities are currently served by AA's regional affiliates and have up to two daily flights to larger hubs.
"We'll proactively reach out to customers scheduled to travel after this date to offer alternate arrangements," the statement said.
A number of other major airlines in the US have already announced cancellation of thousands of flights between now and Labour Day weekend because of the ongoing pilot shortage.
Southwest Airlines has cut back on almost 20,000 flights through September 5, as the company is aiming to hire 10,000 new workers to help keep up with travel demands. Delta Airlines also said they were cutting 100 flights daily from July 1 to August 7.
"We have been working on our days off, flying a record amount of overtime to help you get to your destination," Delta said recently in an open letter to travellers.
"At the current rate, by this fall, our pilots will have flown more overtime in 2022 than in the entirety of 2018 and 2019 combined, our busiest years to date," it said.
Having an airline ticket for a flight that doesn't get cancelled feels like winning the lottery lately. And it doesn't look like things are going to improve any time soon. Over 3,000 flights were delayed and 800 cancelled nationwide just this Sunday alone.
Airlines say bad weather and a pilot shortage are to be blamed for the large number of flight cancellations.