American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) stock is down today after cancelling at least 66 flights in the U.S. on Sunday night. AAL is in the red about 1.5% this morning as the high-flyer attempts some damage control for its recent flight cuts. The news comes following American’s brutal schedule reduction last week, in which the airline announced it’s ending service in a number of small cities.
American joined fellow domestic airlines in Sunday’s catastrophic string of flight cancellations. At least 730 domestic flights were cancelled that day, with Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) posting 224 and 71 cuts, respectively.
It’s not the first time American has been in the doghouse over cancelled flights, however. On its schedule reductions, the company recently told CBS:
“In response to the regional pilot shortage affecting the airline industry, American Airlines has made the difficult decision to end service in Dubuque, Iowa, Islip and Ithaca, New York, and Toledo, Ohio.”
It seems staffing shortages, increased fuel costs and surging summer travel demand continue to weigh heavily on airlines.
AAL Stock Falls Amid Staffing Shortages
American stock has seen better days following its continued string of delays and cancellations. AAL is down 27% this year, while the S&P 500 trends in the red about 18% over the same period.
It seems the peak travel season has forced unexpected burdens on already encumbered airlines. Last week, more than 2,000 flights were cancelled due to a lack of pilots or flight control staff.
With Independence Day weekend quickly approaching, many remain cautious of more dropped departures. After all, Juneteenth weekend alone saw about 5,000 cancellations in addition to 27,000 delays. In fact, JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU), American and Delta cancelled close to 10% of their total flights last week, to the chagrin of many eager travelers.
Not every airline suffered from staffing shortages, however. United cited thunderstorms, construction and interference to air traffic control behind its string of cancellations.
The situation the past few weeks has even called forth action from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Buttigieg met with the Chief Executive of Airlines for America to discuss recent hiccups ahead of the expected travel surge.
It’s unclear what steps airlines are taking to ease the surge in cancellations, but rest assured it hasn’t gone unnoticed by Wall Street, Capital Hill or many of this summer’s hopeful travelers.
On the date of publication, Shrey Dua did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.