American airlines were “forced” to cancel more than 1,000 flights in one day due to lack of staff and weather disruptions.
The company stated that their workers had to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 until November 24. Otherwise, they will be fired from work.
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In the Pilot Union at American, 30% (4,200) of airline pilots still haven’t taken the vaccine against the coronavirus.
American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue are joining United Airlines in requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as the Biden administration steps up pressure on major U.S. carriers to require the shots.
The airlines provide special flights, cargo-hauling, and other services for the government. The companies say that makes them government contractors who are covered by President Joe Biden’s order directing contractors to require that employees be vaccinated.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker told employees late Friday that the airline is still working on details, but “it is clear that team members who choose to remain unvaccinated will not be able to work at American Airlines.”
The pilot union at American recently estimated that 4,200 — or 30% — of the airline’s pilots are not vaccinated.
Now, the airliner has to cancel flights as a result of staffing shortages and high wind gusts near the busiest hub.
CNBC covered this story:
American Airlines has canceled more than 1,000 flights since Friday, disruptions it blamed on staffing problems and high winds at its busiest hub.
On Saturday, American canceled nearly 460 flights, or 17% of its mainline schedule, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines cut 86 flights or 2% of its Saturday operation.
American canceled another 285 flights, or 10% of its schedule planned for Sunday, on top of 340 cancellations on Friday.
American’s COO David Seymour said in a staff note on Saturday that the problems started with high wind gusts on Thursday that cut capacity at its Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport hub and that crew members ended up out of position for their next flights.
Pilot and flight attendant availability were listed as reasons for most of the cancellations on Saturday and Sunday, according to internal tallies, which were seen by CNBC.
At the beginning of this month, Southwest Airlines had to cancel thousands of flights which cost them $75 million because the pilots boycotted the vaccine mandates.