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Canceled flights surge at American Airlines

Associated Press Modified: September 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm •  Published: September 17, 2012
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DALLAS (AP) — Flight cancelations have spiked at American Airlines, which is fighting with unhappy pilots, and the carrier will reduce flights at least partly because of staffing shortages.

American will cut its schedule for the rest of September and October by 1 to 2 percent due to "a number of factors" including an increase in pilots calling in sick and maintenance reports filed by flight crews, said airline spokesman Bruce Hicks.

American canceled more flights on Sunday and Monday than any other airline, according to flight-tracking services.

Hicks said the company was "constantly evaluating our schedule based on operational and staffing resources" and seasonal patterns. He said the AMR Corp.-owned airline was making changes to ensure reliable service for passengers.

The cancelations come a few days after American imposed new cost-cutting terms on its pilots, including outsourcing more flying jobs to other airlines and terminating one of the pilots' retirement programs in November. Pilots rejected more-generous terms in the last contract offer from American, which has been under bankruptcy protection since November.

Last week, the union sent out ballots for a strike-authorization vote, although federal officials have not cleared the way for a legal strike at the nation's third-biggest airline.

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