American Airlines will stop flying to Toledo, Ohio, along with Ithaca and Islip, N.Y., on Sept. 7, making cuts to three airports serviced by regional carriers that have been hardest hit by the shortage of pilots being felt across the industry, the company said.
Carriers are facing a severe shortage of pilots due to thousands of retirements, along with buyouts during the COVID-19 pandemic that reduced payrolls amid lean financial times. Airlines are now ramping up schedules in response to unexpectedly robust demand from travelers.
That shortage of pilots has hit regional carriers, such as those under the American Eagle brand, the hardest.
That’s because pilots from regional carriers are often recruited to work at mainline carriers such as American, Delta, and United. Pay, benefits and schedules are better at mainline carriers, and provide opportunities to advance faster to longer and international routes, which are more efficient for pilots who get paid for time in the air.
That has forced American and other carriers to cut back on the use of regional carriers. American CEO Robert Isom said the company has parked about 100 planes at regional carriers, even though customer demand is high.
In interviews with The Defender, pilots injured by COVID-19 vaccines said despite a “culture of fear and intimidation” they are compelled to speak out against vaccine mandates that rob pilots of their careers — and in some cases their lives.https://t.co/YYMCVg9ywV
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) May 6, 2022
However, having received the COVID-19 vaccine “under duress,” this dream is no longer a possibility for Snow.
“I will probably never fly again,” Snow said in a video he made about his story. “I was hoping to teach my daughter to fly. She wants to be a pilot. That will probably never happen, all courtesy of the vaccine.”
Snow is one of a growing number of pilots coming forward to share stories of injuries they experienced after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
In recent weeks the number of pilots speaking out on this very issue has grown.
According to these individuals and groups, the number of pilots speaking out about their vaccine injuries is dwarfed by the number of pilots who are still flying despite experiencing concerning symptoms — but not speaking out because of what they describe as a culture of intimidation within the aviation industry.
Still, a growing number of pilots are coming forward.
Since then, more pilots have shared their stories, including one who is currently flying for a commercial airline.
A growing number of advocacy organizations, representing workers across the aviation industry and in several countries, are joining these pilots in speaking out.
Meanwhile, pilots in Canada and the Netherlands recently reported significant legal victories in separate vaccine-related cases.
What happens if pilots refuse the jab?
Waters, who had held the rank of captain for 19 years before being terminated by Virgin Australia for refusing the vaccine, spoke to The Defender on behalf of several pilots who are suffering from vaccine injuries.
According to Waters, “none of the pilots suffering from injuries are prepared to talk” because “the company is actively trying to terminate anyone reporting vaccine injury.”
So, what is really causing the pilot shortage? Part of it has to do with the age of retirement for pilots at sixty-five. Part is pilots retiring to avoid having to get a shot that could kill them as pilots right now tend to be on the older side. Part is pilots for regional airlines jumping to the major carriers. Part is those sidelined by the shots.
And the maddening part of the entire situation is that no one is admitting this all started when the COVID shots were rolled out. Between the material damage to the pilots themselves, and those wanting to avoid that damage, we have a pilot shortage that is not going to abate any time soon.