NEW YORK (Reuters) – American Airlines still has loads of flights with out pilots assigned to them in December, the corporate mentioned on Thursday, after a scheduling error gave too many pilots break day.
The quantity of flights that stay pilotless is now “a few hundred,” the airline mentioned, in comparison to a top that the service’s Allied Pilots Association (APA) union estimated at 15,000. American mentioned it expects the quantity to proceed to lower over the following a number of days as extra pilots comply with perform flights throughout the busy vacation length.
“In addition, we have more reserve pilots on hand in December than normal months, and they provide us with the ability to fly many of the trips that are currently uncovered,” spokesman Matt Miller mentioned.
“We have not canceled any scheduled flights in December and will continue to work to ensure both our pilots and our customers are cared for.”
However, the pilots union solid doubt at the service’s numbers. “The Allied Pilots Association is able to view in real time December flight crew assignments for American Airlines,” spokesman Dennis Tajer mentioned in a remark. “In fact, thousands of flights are still listed as unassigned.”
The error, disclosed to staff on Friday and extensively reported this week, used to be an “isolated incident” and a “mistake,” Miller mentioned. Rather than awarding a restricted quantity of break day in line with seniority, a device blunder allocated off days to too many of the service’s pilots.
American has presented its pilots 150 p.c of customary hourly pay to hide sure unstaffed flights.
When information broke of the error, Twitter customers poked amusing on the logistical snafu and puzzled whether or not their very own flights house could be affected.
“American Airlines (accidentally) giving all of their pilots Christmas off is one of my favorite things to happen this year,” Twitter person Blaise Schaefer wrote. “Like how are the pilots even going to get home to their families without other pilots to fly them there.”
American has a anxious dating with its pilots union. The team on Tuesday filed a criticism in opposition to control for “improperly restricting” the facility to earn additional pay on some journeys and has been vocal about its considerations relating to American’s willingness to paintings collaboratively to get to the bottom of the problem.
Reporting by means of Alana Wise; Editing by means of Cynthia Osterman