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December 5, 2017

Air Travel: AA Works to Correct Holiday Glitch + Eurowings Expands in U.S.

american airlines

A holiday scheduling glitch affecting American Airlines, Eurowings’ U.S. expansion and a new premium lounge for Air Canada lead this week’s air travel news affecting the meetings and events industry. 

American Airlines: No Cancellations From Holiday Scheduling Glitch

American Airlines reports that it has not yet canceled any flights in December due to a glitch that resulted in a number of flights not having pilots assigned to fly them over the busy holiday travel period, according to a statement provided to our partner publication Travel Agent.

According to the latest statement from the airline, out of the 200,000 that will operate in December, only a few hundred currently do not have a pilot assigned, a number American says continues to decrease. Additionally, the airline said that in December it has more reserve pilots on hand than in normal months, which provides the ability to fly many of the trips that are currently uncovered.

The update follows last week’s announcement by the Allied Pilots Association (APA), a union representing pilots for American Airlines, that an error in American’s pilot schedule bidding system resulting in a number of flights not having pilots assigned to fly them during the busy holiday travel period from December 17 – 31.

At the time, American Airlines said it was working to address the issue and avoid cancellations using reserve pilots and by paying pilots who pick up certain open trips 150 percent of their hourly rate.

Eurowings to Expand Long-Haul Route Network to New York and Florida in 2018

In flight news, next year Eurowings will grow its long-haul route network with departures from New York to Düsseldorf on an almost daily basis, beginning in April 2018. Also starting during the 2018 summer flight schedule, the airline will offer routes from Miami and Fort Myers, FL to the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany; these flights will occur three times per week.

The New York-to-Düsseldorf flight will begin on April 28 and will operate daily, except Tuesdays. The flights from Miami to Dusseldorf will start on May 4, and will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The new route from Fort Myers will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, starting on May 3.

The three new direct flights to and from the United States to Düsseldorf are part of the airline’s ongoing expansion of its low-cost, long-haul offering. Just recently, the first Eurowings long-haul flight departed from Düsseldorf to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. This route, along with the existing Eurowings flight to Cancun, Mexico will continue in the 2018 summer flight schedule.

Air Canada to Open New Signature Suite at Toronto Pearson

Finally, Air Canada has announced a new Air Canada Signature Suite for its top International Business customers at its Toronto Pearson global hub.

The new suite is an exclusive airport retreat where eligible premium customers can dine à la carte at a complimentary, full-service restaurant from a menu created by acclaimed chef David Hawksworth, or enjoy hors d'œuvres, champagne, fine wines and cocktails in an intimate, Canadian-designed and decorated setting, the airline said.

The new suite, which officially opened December 1, is accessible to all full fare paying International Business Class customers, excluding upgrades and most point redemption programs.

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