“In response to the regional pilot shortage affecting the airline industry, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) has made the difficult decision to end service in Islip and Ithaca, New York, and Toledo, Ohio, effective Sept. 7,” the airline said in an emailed statement to AeroTime.
“We’re extremely grateful for the care and service our team members provided to our customers in Islip, Ithaca and Toledo, and are working closely with them during this time. We’ll proactively reach out to customers scheduled to travel after this date to offer alternate arrangements,” said the Fort Worth-based airline.
“We have noted that we have 100 regional aircraft on the ground that we want to fly but can’t due to lack of regional pilots,” the airline added.
As travel demand approaches 2019 levels, airlines around the world are racing to acquire pilots following the wave of early retirements caused by the pandemic.
According to a report published by The Dallas Morning News aviation consulting firm Oliver Wyman forecasts a global shortage of around 19,000 pilots by the end of 2022. The firm estimates that the shortage will increase to a deficit of around 60,000 pilots in 2029.
“Like many network carriers, we have reduced our regional flying in recent months in response to the regional pilot shortage,” the statement continued.
However, the airline stated that it was “taking bold, innovative steps to address the issue head-on”.
“We recently announced agreements with our three wholly owned regional carriers to ensure we’re able to operate a more reliable regional schedule in the future,” the carrier said.
According to the airline’s website, Envoy Air, Piedmont Airlines, PSA Airlines are the three subsidiaries belonging to the American Airlines Group. The subsidiaries are a part of American Eagle, a network of six regional carriers that operate under a codeshare and service agreement with American.
Mesa, Republic and SkyWest (SKYW) make up the remaining three contracted carriers.