American Airlines is cutting more than 1,800 flights at the Philadelphia International Airport this fall, as staff shortages persist amid the busy travel season.
The airline will cut the domestic flights from PHL’s schedule in September and October, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.
As of June 20, there were 12,766 scheduled American Airlines flights to and from the airport in September, the Business Journal reported. That number was down to 11,645 on Tuesday. The cuts at Philadelphia International Airport are the largest of any airport served by American Airlines , the country’s largest airline.
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American cut 1,121 domestic flights from the September schedule alone, equating to 118,600 fewer potential passengers at the airport next month.
American Airlines did not provide specifics on the cuts, but a spokesperson said in an email that flight reductions were meant to account for resources currently available. Staffing shortages have been reported at airlines across the country.
Travel has rebounded to nearly pre-pandemic levels, with travelers eager to fly as flight restrictions have been lifted and COVID safety precautions have eased up. According to national surveys, more than 200 million American adults are expected to take at least one vacation this summer , about 35 million more than in summer 2021.
“American has taken steps to size our airline for the resources we have available and to build additional buffer into the remainder of our summer schedule,” spokesperson Brian Metham said in a statement. schedule by reducing overall September system capacity.”
The October cuts were announced this past weekend, Metham said. A Philadelphia International Airport spokesperson declined to comment, referring questions to American Airlines.
American Airlines’ published schedule was based on their 2019 flying schedule, the spokesperson said, not accounting for the current demand for flights. In an excerpt of a company earnings call, the airline’s CEO Robert Isom said that though the first few weeks of July inspired confidence for the company, the airline would be making adjustments to the airline’s sizing.
“But we still aren’t where we need to be,” he said. “And we have a lot of flying ahead of us still in the summer. So, we’re investing in our operation to ensure we meet our reliability goals and deliver for our customers. We’re taking proactive steps to build additional buffer into our schedule for the rest of the year.”
According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, the airport has seen a reduction in flights from year to year. The airport had more than 3,2100 fewer American Airlines flights, which represents a 21% drop and around 6,700 fewer seats than last September.