American Airlines braces for Christmas pilot shortage

American Airlines braces for Christmas pilot shortage

American Airlines faces a pilot shortage over Christmas due to a computer glitch.

An estimated 15,000 of the carrier’s flights scheduled to run over the festive period do not have an assigned pilot due to the software error.

This gave time off to too many pilots between December 17-31, the airline told employees in an email last week.

Pilots are now being offered more money to cancel their holiday plans and work the shifts.

A US-based aviation union called the incident a “crisis”.

American Airlines told the BBC: “We are working diligently to address the issue and expect to avoid cancellations this holiday season.

“We have reserve pilots to help cover flying in December, and we are paying pilots who pick up certain open trips 150% of their hourly rate.”

The Allied Pilots Association, which represents commercial pilots, said it had not yet heard from American Airlines management about solving the issue.

“I‘m watching a ‘Grinch that stole Christmas’ thing happening,” a spokesman told Reuters.

“And we don’t want to see that happening for our passengers.”

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