Dreamliner Delay Cuts Into American's International Flights

Boeing hasn't delivered any of the jetliners in a year
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 9, 2021 4:35 PM CST
American Cuts International Flights After Dreamliner Delay
An Etihad Boeing 787 Dreamliner flies alongside the Emirati Forsan military stunt flying team last month at the Dubai Air Show in Dubai.   (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

American Airlines is dropping some international flights for next summer because Boeing has failed to deliver planes that the airline ordered, according to an internal memo Thursday. Boeing has been unable to deliver its 787 jetliner, which it calls the Dreamliner, for about a year because of a series of manufacturing problems, the AP reports. The twin-aisle jet is popular with airlines for long flights because of its improved fuel efficiency over older planes of similar size. American had expected 13 more Dreamliners by this winter.

Without those planes, "we simply won’t be able to fly as much internationally as we had planned next summer, or as we did in summer 2019," Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja said in the memo to American's employees. Boeing plans to compensate American, he added. In an emailed statement, Boeing did not address compensation but said it regrets the impact of delayed deliveries on its airline customers. Airline schedules have been upended by the pandemic, and that is particularly true of international flights because of changing rules around the world.

The carriers, however, have been encouraged by the increase in traffic since the rollout of vaccines against COVID-19. American hoped to operate 89% of its 2019 schedule in summer 2022 but is scaling back to about 80%, a spokeswoman said. According to the internal memo, American won’t fly to Edinburgh, Scotland; Shannon, Ireland; or Hong Kong next summer and won't bring back some destinations it served in 2019, including Prague. It will also cut the number of flights planned to destinations in Asia, including Shanghai, Beijing, and Sydney and will postpone new service, including flights between Seattle and Bangalore, India. American expects to resume a full schedule to Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, London, Dublin, and Madrid, according to the memo.

(More American Airlines stories.)

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