American Airlines this week announced that it would join the growing list of airlines dropping capacity this year, cutting its September and October schedules.
The cuts are primarily flights from Philadelphia, a hub that will see its American schedule reduced by about 3% in September and another 5% in October. That totals just about 200 canceled flights for September and another 375-plus for October.
American, which said it would make an effort to re-accommodate travelers or issue a refund for those who aren’t able to be rebooked, said that move was made in order to build an additional “buffer” into the remainder of its summer schedule.
“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,” American said in a statement, adding that the cuts were part of a “proactive” plan to add resiliency into our schedule.”
“These adjustments were made in markets with multiple frequencies—with the goal of moving customers to different flights,” the statement continued.
American is far from the only airline to cut capacity this summer as travel demand, as the industry continues to deal with managing rising demand from revenge travel and staffing shortages, which remain the single biggest issue for the industry.
A number of European carriers have been dealing with worker strikes this summer, which has forced them to dramatically reduce capacity, along with staff shortages, which has added to the growing percentage of dropped flights.
British Airways, for instance, suspended sales of short-haul flights from London Heathrow for one week because of a cap on daily departing passengers at that airport, which is one of its U.K.-based hubs.
Major carriers in North America have also reduced schedules—United Airlines cut 12% of departures from its Newark hub in June, and then said it would reduce flights from other airports, including ending service between Los Angeles and San Diego, later this fall. Delta Air Lines also made cuts, dropping 100 daily flights from July 1 through Aug. 7.
Earlier in the summer, TMR’s Paul Ruden wrote about how travel advisors can deal with chaos in air travel, including how they can prepare themselves and their clients for travel.