The grounding of Boeing plane Max 737 has led to major disruptions for American Airlines, which was forced to cancel maximum number of flights this year when compared with other major fliers and had to battle major delays during July. Besides the grounding of its fleet of 737 Max, the airline was locked in a bitter dispute with its mechanics and plagued by frequent summer storms that delayed flights.
The Texas Fort Worth based American Airlines cancelled 6529 flights during July that constituted 3.5 % of its total schedule as per data from Dept. of Transportation. CFO Derek Kerr affirmed this week that it was tough summer for the organization so they are shifting focus to next year to make up for the loss. Last month the federal court issued permanent directive against mechanics unions in the country that the airline declared was disrupting operations by illegal slowdown in their work.
The airlines also alleged that the unions are using these underhand tactics to gain leverage in contract negotiations that lead to tensions and hundreds of flight delays which was denied by the unions. Contract talks between American Airlines and mechanics unions again resumed contract related talks this week. Kerr stated that work delays in early morning schedules compound the problem of out-of-service planes and create ripples throughout the day leading causing several delays and cancelations.
Airline executives are under pressure to improve its operations as the airlines’ stock is already down by 11 % behind that of competitor Southwest which went up by 19 % while United Airlines went up by 7 % and Delta went up by 18 % in 2019. But American Airlines is not the only one suffering from grounding of Boeing 737 Max as others too had to cancel several thousand flights due to this and bad weather conditions. Stormy days during July led to cancellation of two thirds of United Airlines during the month said its spokesperson.