The unbeatable combination: greed and stupidity
You see it in every single corner of our societies now: the desperate and heedless grasping for lucre, coupled with dumbfounding stupidity.
In a well-managed company (there may be a few left, but I've only encountered one in the last 20 years and it was a non-profit) there are some tasks a manager naturally performs. They are not something you should automate until and unless we have true "AI", which will look and behave unlike anything currently being touted as "AI" by the marketurds.
One of those tasks—along with setting priorities, agreeing goals, organising appropriate training, resolving disputes and acting as an early-warning detector for problems, and so many non-negotiably essential other roles of the good manager—is to approve leave. The manager does this because s/he is responsible for the team's/department's overall delivery, has the best view of who is doing what, and also should have the best ability to ensure fairness in allowing time off. As anyone who's had these responsibilities knows, sometimes it can be tricky to decide who gets to take leave at particular times, when you also have to ensure sufficient resources to cover the work. Occasionally you have to make a tough call and disappoint someone. Being fair and decent and transparent about it, so that people don't feel it's arbitrary, or suspect favouritism, is a uniquely human skills, as is the soothing of ruffled feathers when someone is ticked off.
That the approval and allocation of leave requests could be assigned to an automated process—I find astonishing. Pilots have managers in the flight ops department, whose very purpose is to ensure that resourcing, rostering, training and much else is well organised to ensure a functioning machine and a satisfied work force. If that's not what they're doing, why are they employed?
This is a classic case of greed (let's save some expensive man-hours) and stupidity (give a task requiring human judgement to a chunk of code).
And, of course, as always happens when greed and stupidity come along hand in hand, the end result is that the business is less efficient in the long run, incurring additional costs because of the mess created by the original, dumb decision-making.
Whoever thought it was good idea to save money by letting code perform a human manager's tasks should now be answering some tough questions about why pilots will have to be paid 50% extra to fly planes. For an airline this size during peak season, the cost will be in the millions surely?
PS: Except, of course, the idiot who "saved" this money has most likely pocketed their "cost-saving bonus" and fled to cause another disaster somewhere else ...