American Airlines says it could take 3 years to get back to full nationwide capacity

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American Airlines said Thursday that it could take up to three years to return to full capacity nationwide due to what it said was an ongoing shortage of pilots.

CEO Robert Isom told investors that demand for air travel has reached record levels, but the airline’s travel schedule is still affected by supply chain disruptions and staff shortages that have worsened during the pandemic.

As a result, Isom predicted that it would take about a year to restore flight capacity across its major routes. “I think it depends on the supply chains of the aircraft manufacturers and, ultimately, pilot supply to get back in sync,” the CEO said.

On the other hand, the stability of American Airlines’ regional lines will be more difficult.

“From a regional perspective, it’s going to take a little bit longer than that, maybe 2 or 3 years, to get the pilots’ supply chain back where we want it,” Isom said.

American Airlines chief financial officer Derek Kerr said the airline flew 8.5% less passenger capacity during the second quarter of this year than in the same period in 2019, despite seeing what he described as record numbers of passengers. The airline posted its first quarterly profit since the start of the pandemic as well as a 12.2% increase in revenue, worth $13.4 billion.

Air travelers used to live in summer, as some call it “airmageddon” Which passengers saw Pay standard amounts for air travel Just to be interviewed DelayAnd the Cancellations And the Baggage loss at every turn.

In response, US Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has called for action. Sanders said airlines should refund passengers for flights that are more than an hour late, provide alternative transportation for passengers who encounter delays of up to four hours, and provide meals and accommodations for those who are delayed longer.

Sanders also said airlines should face fines for flights more than two hours late and flights scheduled without appropriate staff.

Most major airlines already offer travel vouchers, accommodations, and other perks to travelers experiencing jet lag.

Buttigieg Meet with airline executives amidst the challenges.

Staffing and capacity issues in the airline industry date back to before the pandemic. Several years ago, the industry predicted that it would need more planes and more pilots to accommodate what it predicted would be a boom in air travel.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the industry’s expansion plans as planes have been grounded, orders for new planes are paused and travel restrictions have been enacted.

The US government provided billions of dollars during that time to help airlines stay afloat, and while planes remained wrecked, thousands of airline employees, including pilots and flight attendants, either retired or acquired purchases, largely resulting in what is now Industry shortages.

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