Lifestyle

American Airlines is cutting 3 short-haul international markets


It’s not just US cities that are losing air service during the pandemic.

American Airlines filed plans over the weekend to exit three markets in Latin America. Cities that Americans are cutting include:

  • Culiacan, Mexico (CUL), effective February 28, 2023.
  • Samana, Dominican Republic (AZS), effective May 3, 2023.
  • San Andrés Island, Colombia (ADZ), effective May 3, 2023.

All three markets were previously served by American regional affiliates acting on behalf of American Eagle. SkyWest Airlines flies from Phoenix to Culiacan, while its wholly owned regional subsidiary Envoy Air operates flights from Miami to Samana and San Andres Island.

POLITE

Interestingly, all three markets are new to the American network and debut during the pandemic with service twice a week. The airline added flights to Culiacan in March 2021, followed by samana in June 2021 and rounded to Island of San Andres in December 2021.

In a statement confirming the cuts, the airline blamed weak demand and a shortage of pilots as the reasons for the pullback.

Due to weak demand in these markets and pilot shortages in the region affecting the airline industry, American Airlines has made the difficult decision to terminate service in San Andrés, Colombia; Samana, Dominican Republic and Culiacan, Mexico, this spring. We will proactively contact customers who have scheduled travel to offer alternative arrangements.

America’s newest terminal exit comes as major airlines face personnel shortage, especially among their pilots. The pilot shortage has become a particular challenge for regional affiliates that have served as stepping stones for beginner pilots looking to start their careers and eventually work at major US airlines.

Airlines are work hard to grow a system of future pilots, but the shortage is not what they can be fixed overnight. In such cases, shortages have resulted in carriers pulling out of small cities.

In fact, Americans have Necessary for jet parking area during the pandemic in part because it did not have pilots available to fly them.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINT

While the focus in this latest network update is on short-haul US international connectivity, the airline has cut back huge 18 cities in the country during the pandemic – many because of the lack of pilots.

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Earlier this year, the airline added three more US cities to the list the list of cuts is growing now includes Columbus, Georgia; Del Rio, Texas; and Long Beach, California.

Total, 65 domestic airports lost service to one of the three major US airlines (American, Delta and United) during the pandemic, according to Cirium’s scheduling and analysis by aviation consulting firm Ailevon Pacific.

Among the major US airlines, United has attracted the most headlines for a big pullback in the nationwide regional link — currently has up to 36 markets and is continuing to grow.

For more on the US route network, see:

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