American Airlines cut seating capacity on U.S. flights by 3.5 percent for the rest of September and October after pilot retirements, sick calls and mechanical issues spurred more cancellations and delays than usual.
The reductions take effect immediately and will be imposed “selectively across our system,” Bruce Hicks, an American spokesman said in an interview today. American led the U.S. industry in dropped flights and cancellations today, according to FlightStats.com.
The cancellations occurred less than a week after the bankrupt carrier imposed cost cuts on its pilots. American, a unit of AMR Corp. (AAMRQ:US), won court permission on Sept. 12 to void its existing pilot contract and impose cost cuts after the workers rejected the carrier’s final contract offer.
Pilots are conducting a strike vote, even though they currently don’t have the legal right to stage a work stoppage.
The airline accounted for 92 of 157 U.S. flight cancellations today and 414 of 2,092 delays, data on FlightStats.com showed.
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