American Airlines Is Slashing 10,000 Flights, Starting in September
American will operate 26.7 percent less flights than the previous year.
American Airlines is set to slash at least 10,000 flights as early as Sept. 1, as the airline will close out what is set to be a record-breaking summer travel season. The changes come in response to industry-wide issues such as pilot and air traffic controller shortages, which directly affect how and where American Airlines planes can fly, resulting in 26.7 percent fewer flights than the previous year.
Initially, American scheduled 175,589 flights for the month of September, but that number was reduced to 165,025 as of this week, Simple Flying reports.
The most significantly impacted route is between Newark International Airport (EWR) and Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD), which will see 31 percent fewer flights in September 2023. That's the equivalent of 62 fewer one-way flights and approximately 15,000 fewer seats in each direction, according to Simple Flying.
The second most affected route is between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Portland International Jetport (PWM) in Maine. Initially, American scheduled 139 flights for September, but Simple Flying found that the route had been reduced by 38.8 percent or the equivalent of 54 flights.
Additional American Airlines route reductions are scheduled between Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and airports in Charleston, SC, Greensboro, NC, Norfolk, VA, and Richmond, VA. Richmond will experience "the most significant year-over-year reduction of the Charlotte routes" according to Simple Flying, with 22.9 percent fewer flights.
Another North Carolina airport, Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDA), will reduce service to Tampa, FL, with 55 flights currently scheduled, down from 60 flights recorded back in September 2022 Simply Flying adds.
Other planned route reductions include flights between Los Angeles and Boston, which will only see 60 flights down from 110, Chicago, and Richmond with 59 flights down from 110, and Miami and Los Angeles, which will operate 185 flights in September down from 235 according to table data collected by Simple Flying.
American Airlines will also cut at least ten routes between major cities as the summer comes to a close. CLT will no longer operate flights to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) or Los Cabos International Airport (SJD); Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) will no longer fly to Grand Cayman or Nassau, Bahamas; BOS will no longer fly to Hilton Head, SC.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) will cut routes to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo International in Mexico, Idaho Falls, ID, and Cleveland, OH. At the same time, the airline will also stop flying between ORD and Charleston, SC as well as Billings, MT.
Industry-wide challenges, including a shortage of air traffic controllers, a lack of experienced pilots, and aircraft delivery delays, have the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) asking airlines to reduce or cancel routes in an effort to keep delays to a minimum, while also reducing airport congestion overall, The New York Times reports. American Airlines has plans to cut flights in October 2023, as well, while many other companies, such as Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, have been cutting flights and canceling routes from major cities since the start of May.