At present, the airline says that “only a few hundred” of its flights are lacking pilots, but the APA has raised its concerns that the fault will cause major disruption to its members.
Following the revelations of a computer glitch that could have seen the carrier short on pilots during the busy Christmas period, American Airlines is working hard to reassure travelers that all of its flights will depart as planned. CBS News reports that as of Thursday, “only a few hundred” of the airline’s flights scheduled for later this month are currently lacking pilots.
Despite this, in a statement, American has said that it has “not canceled any scheduled flights in December and will continue to work to ensure both our pilots and our customers are cared for.”
Matt Miller, the carrier’s spokesperson, has also said that its pilots are taking up additional flights to cover any gaps.
The current shortage at American was caused by a fault in the carrier’s scheduling system, which apparently allowed staff to take vacation time during the last two weeks of this month, even if no other pilots were free to operate a scheduled flight.
However, the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the labor body which represents American Airlines pilots, says it remains concerned about the situation and, according to its review of the airline’s data, says that the carrier has “thousands” of flights without crew.
According to information from American obtained by the outlet, the carrier is looking for pilots and crew for flights departing from Washington D.C., St. Louis, Philadelphia, New York, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, Charlotte and Boston. The outlet also reports that American “has about 15,000 pilots and roughly 200,000 flights scheduled during December.”
In an official statement, the organization said that it “is able to view in real time December flight crew assignments for American Airlines. That data does not support management’s statement regarding December flights that ‘only a few hundred are currently unassigned to pilots.’ In fact, thousands of flights are still listed as unassigned.”
“We remain seriously concerned about the potential for significant schedule disruption for our passengers, pilots, and fellow employees during the critical holiday travel season,” it added.