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Dreamliner delays force American to cut some international services

written by Isabella Richards | December 10, 2021

American Airlines has cancelled a number of international services for summer 2022 due to the continuous delays of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

It comes as numerous airlines across the globe have suffered from overdue delays of the aircraft due to flaws detected by the Federal Aviation Administration in recent months.

The airline will not resume services to Edinburgh in Scotland and Shannon in Ireland and said due to “soft” demand in Asia, will discontinue services to Hong Kong.

“Boeing continues to be unable to deliver the 787s we have on order, including as many as 13 aircraft that were slated to be in our fleet by this winter,” said Vasu Raja, American’s chief revenue officer in a memo to staff, later made public in a security filing.

“Without these widebodies, we simply won’t be able to fly as much internationally as we had planned next summer or as we did in summer 2019.”

To mitigate the impacts from the delays, Raja said every wide-body aircraft in the company’s fleet will only be operated for long-haul flights, with no exception for domestic or short-haul international services.


“Despite this delay, we still have great confidence in the Dreamliner and continue to work with Boeing on when these planes can be ultimately delivered to us,” Raja added.

He said Boeing has advised that it will compensate American Airlines for their “inability” to deliver the aircraft at the expected time.

“We deeply regret the impact to our customers as we work through the process to resume deliveries of new 787s,” Boeing said in a statement.

“We will take the time needed to ensure conformance to our exacting specifications.”

In July, the Dreamliner’s deliveries were halted due to a manufacturing issue near the nose, impacted by the company’s shimming process.

It came only months after Boeing officially resumed deliveries in March to United Airlines after various quality inspections and marking the first since October last year. However, deliveries were halted again in May this year.

Deliveries were expected to restart in late October, but many airlines are still awaiting their overdue aircraft.

In a bid to ensure the “most connectivity” for customers while the Dreamliners continue to be delayed, American said it “strategically” created a summer schedule that utilises its wide-body fleet.

All wide-body aircraft usually used on short-haul routes such as the Caribbean and Latin America will be redeployed to popular trans-Atlantic routes such as Barcelona, Portugal and more.




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