According to an airport spokesman, American Airlines on Sunday canceled 28 flights from Los Angeles International Airport, part of hundreds of flight cancellations blamed on the airline for staff shortages and bad weather.
An airline spokesman said 1,800 flights had been canceled since Friday, accounting for almost 11% of all scheduled take-offs. Airport spokesman Frederick Badlissi said 28 of those flights were scheduled to be on LAX on Sunday. He added that 180 flights were on time.
American Airlines chief operating officer David Seymour said in a statement to staff on Saturday that winds at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour had created “crosswind restrictions that have severely reduced arrival capacity by more than half.”
He said the airline had preventively canceled a series of flights due to “extra weather throughout the system”, resulting in recruitment that “starts to squeeze tight when crew members end up from their scheduled flight sequences”.
“Most of the customers affected by these changes are booking again the same day, and we apologize for having to make these changes,” Seymour wrote.
The aviation industry has been facing a turbulent recovery since the COVID-19 pandemic cut off travel around the world. Airlines have taken steps to reduce the number of employees, including voluntary buyouts, and have not yet supplemented their ranks as travel has intensified again.
Another American Airlines spokesman said the situation would “significantly improve” as of Monday, with nearly 1,800 flight attendants returning from vacation. The rest will return in December, Seymour said. Recruitment is expected to bring in 4,000 new employees this quarter, he wrote.