The decision by American Airlines to reduce its flights out of Columbia Regional Airport (COU) is described as temporary by COU manager Michael Parks.
He says January and February are traditionally COU’s slowest months. Parks also tells “Wake Up Columbia” that the COVID pandemic has caused pilot and staffing shortages for American.
“The challenge when you add the pilot shortage and the staffing shortage in there, the airlines are making some decisions to ensure that they have enough pilots, they have enough staff, to cover the flights that they have. And so that’s really what this is, it’s an adjustment to the schedule,” Parks says.
Mr. Parks is confident that American’s schedule will return to normal in the future, adding that American flights at COU will increase from 96 in February to 198 in April.
The COVID pandemic is causing Fort Worth-based American to reduce its flights out of COU, starting in February.
“Airlines are not immune to those challenges, so they have to make adjustments to their schedules just like a local business would with their schedule,” says Parks.