American Airlines is calling in reserve pilots to avoid cancelling Christmas flights after admitting a scheduling error that could affect thousands of flights.
The glitch has meant schedulers have allowed pilots to ‘bid’ for holidays over the Christmas period despite no other crew being available.
The airline will not confirm the number of departures potentially affected, but its pilots’ union claims 15,000 have been scheduled without a captain, co-pilot or both. American Airlines told US media that only “a few hundred” flights were still without flight crew.
Flights from nearly a dozen airports, including key hubs at Dallas, Chicago and Miami, are affected between December 17 and 31. The situation mirrors that at Ryanair, where a similar scheduling error saw the cancellation of thousands of flights this winter.
American Airlines in the UK was contacted for comment.