American Airlines has parked about 100 regional jets because it can’t get enough pilots to fly them. CEO Robert Isom told an investor conference regional carriers are hardest hit by the pilot shortage. “There is a supply and demand imbalance right now, and it really is within the regional carrier ranks,” the Dallas Morning News reported him as saying. “We have probably 100 aircraft or almost 100 aircraft that aren’t productive right now, that aren’t flying.” The loss of the aircraft, mostly smaller planes with about 50 seats, has been blunted somewhat by the use of larger aircraft by the regionals.
Isom’s comments came on the heels of Southwest’s announcement that it was cutting 20,000 flights from its summer schedule, and JetBlue and Delta are also reducing service. On a brighter note, Alaska Airlines is climbing out of a chaotic two months that canceled thousands of flights, many of them while passengers were at the gate. Despite all the problems, TravelPulse is reporting that most airlines are expecting a travel boom this summer despite fares increasing an average of 48 percent over pre-pandemic prices.