American Airlines Cancelled Over 8,000 Flights Due to 2017 Hurricanes

Oct 26, 2017

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It has been an extraordinary 2017 hurricane season. With over a month until the season ends, this year has already seen record-breaking storms Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria. Each one dealt a significant blow to United States — residents of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands all experienced catastrophic losses.

In addition to the immeasurable loss felt by millions of people affected by this year’s storms, the travel industry was also dealt a blow. Thursday morning, we got to see just how much American Airlines was affected by the storms when the airline released its third quarter (July-September) financial results.

Just from those three major hurricanes, American Airlines recorded over 8,000 flight cancellations, and the airline calculated a loss from these storms of $75 million.

This loss wasn’t detailed. So, it’s unclear if this is just the direct impact of the storms or includes costs for the 2.5 million pounds of relief supplies, $350,000 corporate donation to the American Airlines Family Fund and awarded miles for the over $2 million in donations from AAdvantage members to the Red Cross.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker didn’t dwell on the airline’s losses, instead praising the AA team and the airline industry as a whole for its response to the situation:

The hurricane response highlighted the humanity and professionalism of the American team, and our industry as a whole… The generous spirit of the American Airlines team was on full display as team members in Miami, Chicago and elsewhere packed meals and care packages for our colleagues and our customers in Puerto Rico.

American Airlines didn’t mention how much other natural disasters — such as typhoons in Asia and earthquakes in Mexico — impacted operations or profitability.

Despite the $75 million setback, the airline still recorded a net profit before taxes of just over $1 billion for the three month period.

Featured image by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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