American Airlines cites pilot shortage in decision to stop flying to 4 airports

American Airlines cites pilot shortage in decision to stop flying to 4 airports

The pilot shortage has prompted American Airlines to end services starting in September to some airports in Iowa, New York and Ohio, the company announced.

Services, according to a company statement to NBC News on Wednesday, will cease on September 7 at the Dubuque Regional Airport in Iowa; Long Island MacArthur Airport and Ithaca Tompkins International Airport, which are in New York; and the Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport in Ohio.

American Airlines pilots picketed outside Miami International Airport on March 23 as contract negotiations extended into their third year, according to the Allied Pilots Association.Eva Marie Uzcátegui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The “regional pilot shortage affecting the airline industry” was cited in a statement by American Airlines as the reason behind the “difficult decision” to cut ties with the four airports.

“We are very appreciative of the care and service our team members have provided to our customers in Dubuque, Islip, Ithaca and Toledo, and we are working closely with them during this time. We will proactively contact customers scheduled to travel after this date to offer alternative arrangements,” the airline’s statement said.

American Airlines currently flies twice a day from the four affected airports, the company said.

In a statement from the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority on behalf of the Toledo airport, the agency said:

“We are incredibly disappointed to learn of American Airlines’ decision to cancel service to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) from Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport (TOL) effective September 7, 2022. Please note that this decision was made solely by the airline, primarily due to a shortage of regional pilots. Unfortunately, we understand that this is a current ongoing trend in the aviation industry. The Port Authority continues to meet with various airline representatives several times a year in an effort to increase our air service outside of TOL.”

A MacArthur Airport spokesman said in a statement that officials hope to one day resume a partnership with American Airlines and “We are hopeful that this service adjustment will not be permanent.”

Representatives with the other two The affected airports were not immediately contacted Wednesday for comment.

More than 1,300 Southwest Airlines pilots picketed Tuesday in Dallas, raising concerns about what they say are unfair working conditions and inadequate pay, according to the pilots’ union.

“Southwest pilots have been in contract negotiations with the company for more than two years without any significant movement toward a new contract,” the union said in a statement to NBC News, adding that “pilot fatigue rates have reached an all-time high. .”

Pilots across the commercial airline industry have drawn attention to chronic staffing shortages that have forced airlines to delay or cancel flights.

bryan logan Y rob wile contributed.

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