American Airlines has cancelled 2,327 flights since Friday, citing weather issues and staff shortages, reported USA Today.
The airline canceled 413 flights, or 14% of its schedule, and delayed 516 other flights as of 4 p.m. EDT on Monday, according to flight tracker FlightAware. Over 50% of American Airlines flights were either delayed or cancelled Sunday.
As travel demand has been steadily increasing since March 2020, airlines have struggled to replenish their employee base after the staff cuts put in place over a year and a half ago, NPR noted.
David Seymour, chief operating officer of American Airlines, sent out a letter to staff explaining the company “proactively” canceled flights due to severe weather and crew shortage, reported NPR.
“Most of the customers being impacted by these changes are being rebooked the same day,” Seymour wrote. “We apologize for having to make these changes.”
Seymour said the company plans to hire 600 new flight attendants and will welcome 1,800 more from leave in November.
The cancellations came a week after hundreds of current and former American Airlines employees protested the company’s vaccine mandate outside its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, wrote Fox Business.
Issuing a memo to employees on Oct. 7, American Airlines mandated all employees get vaccinated by Nov. 24, Fox Business reported.
"We don't want to be forced to do something against our will, but if it means sacrificing our jobs, if that's what we have to do, then I'm willing to do that," American Airlines technician Charlie Bucket told Spectrum local news.
Southwest Airlines faced similar challenges in the beginning of October after establishing a vaccine mandate for their employees. The airline cancelled over 1,850 flights that weekend, also citing poor weather conditions.