(WSYR-TV) — A pilot shortage is forcing a popular airline to cease operations in three U.S. cities, including a destination in Central New York.
The Points Guys, a travel blog, published on Sunday that American Airlines will no longer serve Ithaca, N.Y., Islip, N.Y., and Toledo, Ohio, effective September 7. The airline cites a regional pilot shortage affecting the industry. “American Airlines has made the difficult decision to end service in Islip and Ithaca, New York, and Toledo, Ohio… We’re extremely grateful for the care and service our team members provided to our customers,” a spokesperson for the airline stated.
The announcement comes as massive summer travel demand drives skyrocketing costs. The United CEO Scott Kirby told investors in April that most airlines won’t be able to realize their capacity plans for the next five years.
Flights have faced delays and cancellations for months. Over spring break, travelers from Central New York experienced a “travel nightmare” after hundreds of flights were delayed.
On June 10, Breeze Airways launched its inaugural flight from Syracuse Hancock International Airport — with a five hour delay. Father’s Day and Juneteenth weekend also saw thousands of flights cancelled and delayed across the country.
The pilot shortage, The Points Guys says, has affected all major carriers and many small communities, sharing that United Airlines announced 10 cities that will no longer receive service.
While American Airlines will no longer serve Ithaca, Delta Connection and United Express will still connect the airport to a larger hub. Toledo, however, will no longer have that connection.