US giant tries to tackle Christmas staffing problem
American Airlines says it is calling in reserve pilots to avoid cancelling flights over the Christmas and New Year period after admitting a scheduling error that could affect thousands of flights, TTG Media reports.
The glitch has meant that schedulers have allowed pilots to ‘bid’ for holidays over the Christmas period despite no other crew members being available.
Flights without a captain
The airline will not confirm the number of departures potentially affected, but its pilots’ union claims that 15,000 flights have been scheduled without a captain, co-pilot or both.
American Airlines has told media in the US that only “a few hundred” flights are still without flight crew.
Flights from nearly a dozen airports, including key hubs at Dallas, Chicago and Miami, are affected between December 17 and 31. The situation mirrors that at Ryanair, where a similar scheduling error saw the cancellation of thousands of flights this winter.