American Boeing 787 Delivery Delays Lead To Summer Route Cuts

American Airlines is significantly scaling back its long haul summer schedule due to delays with newly delivered Boeing 787-8 aircraft. Let’s go over the details.

American is experiencing Boeing 787 delays

While American Airlines already has a large fleet of Boeing 787-8s and Boeing 787-9s, the airline has many more of these planes on order. American’s next Boeing 787s to be delivered are 13 Boeing 787-8s, with the 787-8 being the smallest Dreamliner variant.

Unfortunately Boeing has not been able to deliver these planes with the promised timeline. Apparently there are production flaws, including gaps between panels of the carbon-composite fuselage (oh, Boeing…).

American expected to take delivery of all remaining Boeing 787-8s in 2022, but the airline now expects to receive only 10 of these planes in 2022, and the remaining three aircraft in 2023. Unfortunately these delays seem to be “rolling,” so it’s anyone’s guess when American will actually get them.

On the plus side, American will receive compensation from Boeing for these delivery delays, which should cover most of the losses incurred from not being able to fly these planes. American states in a memo to employees that the airline still has “tremendous confidence in the aircraft and will continue to work with Boeing on their delivery.”

American’s new Boeing 787 deliveries are delayed

American trims summer 2022 long haul routes

American is having to make plans based on these planes having delayed deliveries, as the airline starts to finalize its summer 2022 schedule (which is where long haul flying is most in demand). American is now proactively reducing the summer 2022 flying schedule. Here are the routes that will have a delayed launch, will be suspended, or will be greatly reduced:

  • Dallas to Tel Aviv (new route, now launching October 31, 2022)
  • Dallas to Santiago (existing route, suspended until October 29, 2022)
  • Los Angeles to Sydney (existing route, suspended until October 29, 2022)
  • Miami to Sao Paulo (existing route, will be reduced to once daily service)
  • Seattle to London (existing route, suspended until October 29, 2022)

It’s worth emphasizing that most of these routes were not actually scheduled to be operated by Boeing 787-8s. Rather American is having to prioritize long haul routes based on the reality that the airline will not have sufficient aircraft.

While some of these routes were scheduled to be operated by 777s, presumably those 777s will now be used on other routes where American hoped to use the new 787-8s.

During the pandemic, American was aggressive about retiring its long haul aircraft, including Boeing 757s, Boeing 767s, and Airbus A330s. One has to wonder if American is not at this point regretting cutting at least some of those planes, given how the Boeing 787 situation has unfolded.

Many of the routes being cut were scheduled to be flown by 777s

Bottom line

American Airlines is continuing to experience Boeing 787 delivery delays, and the airline will not get all 13 new Boeing 787-8s that were expected this year. As a result, American has reduced its summer 2022 flying schedule, including cutting several long haul routes.

Unfortunately the issues with the 787 seem to very much be a rolling delay, so it’s anyone’s guess for how much longer American will have to make cuts.

What do you make of American’s long haul flight cancellations?

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