American Airlines cuts November schedule to avoid disruptions

FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines aircraft lands at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia

(Reuters) - American Airlines Inc has cut thousands of domestic and international flights from its November schedule as part of the carrier's efforts to reduce disruptions that have afflicted the industry this year.

The carrier has scheduled 31,000, or 16%, fewer flights for the month that contains the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel period, data from aviation analytics company Cirium showed.

U.S. airlines have been trying to add more buffer into their schedules after a chaotic summer travel season. While demand for air travel has surged this year, most U.S. airlines have struggled to cope with it due to a staffing shortage.

American said in an emailed statement that the cuts reflect network and schedule planning throughout the year.

"Preliminary schedules are published 331 days in advance and then adjustments are made closer in based on the schedule we intend to operate," the airline said.

"We are now loading schedule adjustments approximately 100 days in advance, which is in line with how we adjusted our schedule in 2019 prior to the pandemic."

The Texas-based carrier, which has already cut more than 19,000 flights this year, expects current-quarter capacity to be down about 8% to 10% compared with pre-pandemic levels.

Flight cancellations and delays by U.S. airlines in the first seven months of the year have surpassed the comparable 2019 period, according to data from flight-tracking website FlightAware.

(Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh in Chicago and Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)