American Airlines has become the latest airline to ground some of its aircraft due to the ongoing pilot shortage. On Friday, Robert Isom, the airline’s CEO said 100 of its regional jets would be parked, according to Business Insider.
“There is a supply and demand imbalance right now, and it really is within the regional carrier ranks,” said Isom. “We have probably a hundred aircraft — almost a hundred aircraft that aren’t, aren’t productive right now, that aren’t flying.”
The benched planes are all lower capacity aircraft, and American has been flying larger regional planes to pick up some of the slack left by the parked jets.
The aviation industry as a whole has been feeling the effects of the pilot shortage, which was brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent slowing of hiring and training. The global pandemic also led to the early retirement of thousands of pilots for whom there are no replacements.
Now, with summer travel ramping up, carriers are resorting to various tactics to meet demand. Some have offered pay increases and other incentives in attempts to not only attract pilots from other airlines but to also attract new workers to the aviation industry. American Airlines is currently in the process of hiring 2,000 new pilots.
“[If] there are the appropriate incentives and there’s the kind of compensation that attracts people to the industry, then this is something that can be remedied,” said Isom.
Along with American, other airlines have also had no choice but to ground some of its planes. United Airlines parked 100 of its regional jets in December.