American Airlines’ cancellation rate slowed on Monday after
a weekend of nearly 2,000 cancelled flights, and the carrier said it is beefing
up its staffing levels in the coming weeks before the busy holiday season.
American’s cascading cancellations stemmed from two days of
strong winds, starting last Thursday, at its Dallas-Fort Worth hub, which cut
the capacity for arrivals by more than half, COO David Seymour said in a memo
over the weekend. Similar to a cascading incident seen
by Southwest Airlines earlier in October, the initial cancellations led
crew members to be out of their assigned sequences, making staffing tight, he
Sunday was the biggest day for cancellations, with a total
of 1,060 flights, more than 20 percent of American’s total flights for the day,
cancelled, American reported. On Monday, the carrier reported 391 cancelled
flights, just under 7 percent of its total scheduled flights.
As of Monday, however, American also will begin seeing
larger staffing levels.
“Specifically, for flight attendants, we have nearly
1,800 returning from leave starting Nov. 1—and the remainder coming back by
Dec. 1—and we will have 600-plus new hire flight attendants on property by end
of December,” according to Seymour. “Additionally, hiring for our
airports is well underway, and we anticipate 4,000 new team members joining us
across the system in the fourth quarter.”
Seymour added that American has begun hiring to its
reservations team for the upcoming holiday season, and the carrier also is
hiring more pilots and staff for its tech ops team.