With the vacation season approaching, the 2 main U.S. airways are dealing with a potential pilot scarcity, and it could possibly be made worse by vaccine mandates, in accordance with some unions representing pilots.
Not solely are extra passengers anticipated to take to the skies this 12 months, however airways are rapidly approaching a federal vaccine mandate for his or her staff.
Airline staff have to be vaccinated by Dec. 8, per a Biden administration regulation, and it’s even sooner for American’s staff: Nov. 24, the day earlier than Thanksgiving.
“There have been some feedback from the Southwest Airways pilot union that they could not have sufficient pilots out there to function the flights in the course of the Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation, and American’s pilot union made an identical assertion,” journey trade analyst Henry Harteveldt stated.
Capt. Eric Ferguson, president of the Allied Pilots Affiliation, which represents 15,000 American Airways pilots, launched an announcement saying that “American Airways administration continues to interact with APA on all issues pandemic-related, together with the vaccine mandate.”
The union is hoping to get an extension to the Nov. 24 deadline, in addition to “the identical options to the vaccine which are anticipated to be allowed underneath the anticipated OSHA emergency rule masking corporations with greater than 100 staff,” Ferguson stated.
“This could guarantee the identical degree of security whereas stopping the destabilization of our trade on the eve of the upcoming vacation season,” Ferguson added.
Over the weekend, vacationers had been pissed off with Southwest Airways cancelling extra 2,000 flights, marking what could possibly be the begin to extra cancellations and delays within the close to future for extra airways.
“For passengers on American and Southwest, it’s essential be ready that you will have a chaotic Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Harteveldt stated.
Harteveldt stated Southwest and American are shifting ahead in getting extra pilots vaccinated, however the corporations have but to say simply how a lot progress they’ve made.
“You wish to journey this Thanksgiving or Christmas, you may, you simply must be considerate concerning the airline you select,” Harteveldt added.
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