American Airlines passenger jets prepare for departure from Logan International Airport in Boston on July 21, 2021.
AP Photo / Steven Senne, File
DALLAS (AP) – American Airlines is removing some international flights from its plans for next summer because Boeing failed to deliver the planes the airline has ordered, according to an internal memo Thursday.
Boeing has not been able to deliver its 787 airliner, which it calls the Dreamliner, for about a year due to a series of manufacturing issues. The dual-aisle jet is popular with airlines for long flights because of its improved fuel efficiency compared to older planes of similar size.
American expected 13 more Dreamliners in its fleet by this winter. Without these planes, “we just won’t be able to fly as internationally as we anticipated next summer, or as we did in the summer of 2019,” said Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja. in the note to American employees.
“Boeing informed us that they would compensate the Americans for their inability to deliver the plane,” he added.
In an emailed statement, Chicago-based Boeing did not address the issue of compensation, but said it regretted the impact of delayed deliveries on its airline customers.
“Our team continues to conduct full inspections and rework, if necessary, on undelivered aircraft, while having transparent discussions” with the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing said. The FAA regulates aircraft manufacturers.
Airlines’ schedules have been disrupted by the pandemic, and this is especially true for international flights due to changing rules around the world. Carriers were encouraged by the increase in traffic since the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, however, and were optimistic for next summer, believing that people stuck at their homes are anxious to travel again.
American was hoping to operate 89% of its 2019 program in the summer of 2022, but brings it down to around 80%, spokeswoman Andrea Koos said.
According to the internal memo, American will not be flying to Edinburgh, Scotland; Shannon, Ireland; or Hong Kong next summer and will not bring back some of the destinations it served in 2019, including Prague. It will also reduce the number of flights it hoped to offer to destinations in Asia, including Shanghai, Beijing and Sydney, and delay the start of new services, including flights between Seattle and Bangalore, India.
American plans to resume a full program to Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, London, Dublin and Madrid, according to the memo.
Last summer, American used dual-aisle jets on flights within the United States and on short-haul international flights. Next summer, however, all of these so-called widebody jets will be used on long international routes “to minimize the damage these aircraft delivery delays have caused to our long-haul portfolio,” Raja wrote in the memo. , which was first reported by The The Wall Street Journal.
Boeing had to contend with production flaws on the 787s, including tiny gaps between the fuselage panels and poorly manufactured titanium parts. The problems have prevented Boeing from delivering planes that came off the assembly lines in the states of South Carolina and Washington. As the undelivered planes piled up, the aircraft manufacturer has slowed down its production.
Rarely do disputes between aircraft manufacturers and airline customers become public. Even during the Boeing 737 Max’s long shutdown after two fatal crashes, American, Southwest and United were withheld in their comments about the plane’s manufacturer.
In another such unusual dispute, Boeing rival Airbus on Thursday said it would get an “independent legal assessment” in its dispute with a customer over the surfaces of its A350 planes. Airbus, based in Toulouse, France, accused the airline of “continued denaturing” of paint degradation which the European aviation regulator says does not affect safety.
Airbus said it regretted the need to hire lawyers, but “it has become necessary to defend its position and its reputation”.
Airbus did not identify the airline in a press release, but its description pointed to Qatar Airways, which immobilized more than a dozen A350s this summer, citing orders from Qatar’s aviation regulator. The airline said the aircraft’s carbon composite fuselages were “degrading at an accelerating rate.”