More flight cancellations at American Airlines

americanairlines.jpgCheck your flight status. As of this afternoon, the airline experienced 364 delays and 30 cancellations. Since Sept. 16, 546 flights have been cancelled and 7,137 delayed - way more than usual. Put another way, just half of American's flights have arrived on time. The airline says more pilots have called in sick, and there's been an increase in maintenance reports that are not safety related (broken coffee pots, faulty reading lights and the like). From the Chicago Tribune:

"Pilot write-ups for maintenance are running at unprecedented levels. That's what causing the delays," [said spokesman Bruce Hicks]. "Cancellation and on-time performance are running dramatically below what they should be and what's acceptable." Meanwhile, the Allied Pilots Association, whose members are disgruntled over not having a new labor contact and recent imposition of pay and benefits cuts, has said it has not sanctioned a work action, such as a "sick out," and that sick rates "have not deviated from normal historical rates." They blame the rise in mechanical "write-ups" on American's relatively elderly fleet of planes.

From the WSJ:

In an internal memo on Monday, American warned that pilots available for scheduled flights world-wide are "limited." Because the end of the month is days away and many pilots have flown all the available hours allowed by regulators, the number of flights that could be handled by backup pilots also is limited. American said its operations have been gummed up since a bankruptcy judge on Sept. 4 allowed the company to void its pilots' labor agreement and impose deeply concessionary terms on the third-largest U.S. airline's 10,000 aviators.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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