American Airlines will no longer fly to these three cities as pilot shortage worsens
Toledo is a major city, but when it comes to airlines, it’s an afterthought. And starting Sept. 7, the Ohio city going to be even harder to reach.
American Airlines has announced plans to stop flying to Toledo, as well as Ithaca and Islip, N.Y., due to an ongoing pilot shortage. American is at present the only major carrier to serve Toledo. (Smaller airline Allegiant flies four routes out of the airport.)
The cuts are officially being made at American’s regional carrier Envoy Air, which also plans to suspend service between Charlotte and El Paso; Charlotte and Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Dallas to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. (No restart dates were given.) Service between Philadelphia and Santo Domingo and Philadelphia to Santiago, Dominican Republic, will also be suspended this winter.
“In response to the regional pilot shortage affecting the airline industry, American Airlines has made the difficult decision to end service in Islip and Ithaca, N.Y., and Toledo, Ohio, effective Sept. 7,” the company told Fortune in a statement. “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.”
American isn’t the only airline to reduce its schedule due to pilot shortages. More than 5,000 flights were canceled over the Father’s Day/Juneteenth weekend, with one-third of U.S. arrivals on Friday being delayed. And earlier this year, Delta exited the Grand Junction, Colo.; Cody, Wyo.; and Lincoln, Neb., markets.
Airlines saw a large number of retirements and buyouts during the pandemic as they looked to lower costs. Now that demand for travel is back at 2019 levels, however, that’s causing headaches as they try to ramp up service.
Each of the three airports affected by American’s decision are within an hour’s drive of another airport.
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