An American Airlines ticket agent is seen at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Mo., on February 8. The carrier said some flights over the weekend were canceled because flight crews weren't available. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
June 21 (UPI) -- American Airlines was forced to cancel hundreds of flights over the weekend and cut hundreds more into next month due mainly to a staffing shortage, rising travel demand and other issues.
American, the world's largest carrier by fleet size and passengers carried, canceled more than 300 flights on Saturday and Sunday due to the issues.
CNBC reported that about half of the canceled flights were grounded because flight crews were unavailable.
Others were canceled because of bad weather in Charlotte and Dallas-Fort Worth, which are two major American hubs.
Sunday, the airline also said will remove about 1% of all flights until the middle of July due to the multiple challenges. One percent will translate to hundreds of flights.
"The first few weeks of June have brought unprecedented weather to our largest hubs, heavily impacting our operation and causing delays, canceled flights and disruptions to crew member schedules and our customers' plans," American spokeswoman Shannon Gilson told CNN.
"That, combined with the labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with and the incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand, has led us to build in additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying."
American said the cancellations will occur in markets where there are "multiple options" to reaccommodate passengers.
The carrier expects between 50 and 80 cancellations per day over the coming weeks.
Air travel in the United States has rebounded significantly in recent weeks as coronavirus transmissions continue to recede and more people are inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines. The Transportation Security Administration said last week that passengers going through airports nationwide is returning closer to prepandemic levels.
January 31, 2020
National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo