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American Airlines Resolves Problem That Could Have Canceled Thousands of Flights

04 December 2017

American Airlines says its pilots are "stepping up to the plate" to resolve a scheduling error that accidentally left its upcoming flights without cockpit crews during the busy holiday season, but its pilots' union - the Allied Pilots Association (APA) - isn't so sure that's actually the case. As of Friday, American said it had arranged to have pilots for all but a few hundred flights and was working to fill the rest.

About American Airlines Group American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of almost 6,700 flights per day to almost 350 destinations in more than 50 countries.

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Initially, the carrier was planning on using reserve and on-call pilots in addition to paying many pilots over time to ensure no flights have to be canceled, but the APA did not approve of this solution, stating that American violated the labor contract by creating a solution without any input from the union.

According to the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the glitch had left more than 15,000 flights without a captain, co-pilot or both between December 17 and December 31 at dozens of airports.

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While American said Thursday that it had covered all but a few hundred trips, the union said its count early Friday showed thousands of flights scheduled for the last two weeks of the month were still missing one or both pilots.

More than 10,000 flights were in danger of cancellation this week after a scheduling error allowed too many pilots to take time off during the high-volume travel days of late December.

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"We remain seriously concerned about the potential for significant schedule disruption for our passengers, pilots, and fellow employees during the critical holiday travel season", the APA added.

American Airlines Resolves Problem That Could Have Canceled Thousands of Flights