American Airlines Pulls Out of 3 Cities

American blames shortage of regional pilots
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2022 4:36 PM CDT
American Airlines Pulls Out of 3 Cities
An American Eagle passenger flight lands in January at Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Saying it's running short of pilots, American Airlines has dropped regional service to three cities. Flights at airports in Toledo, Ohio; Ithaca, New York; and Islip, New York, will end Sept. 7, the Hill reports. A spokesperson said the airline will contact travelers who have a ticket for a flight after that date to make other plans. The three airports are served by regional carriers: American serves Toledo with its American Eagle planes and the other two with Piedmont. American is the only commercial airline that goes into Toledo. All three airports are about an hour's drive from an airport still served by American.

The pilot shortage has especially been a problem for regional carriers such as American Eagle, per the Dallas Morning News, as major airlines hire crews away by offering better pay, benefits, and opportunities to advance. Although customer demand is high, the airline said it's had to park about 100 regional planes. Airlines cut jobs when travel dried up early in the pandemic. Now that demand has returned—the number of passengers going through security on Friday neared a pandemic record—they're having trouble keeping up. American has increased pay for pilots on regional routes but is still losing them. (Read more American Airlines stories.)

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