American Airlines announced plans Thursday to limit international travel next year amid a shortage of Boeing aircraft.
The airline said in a memo viewed by the Washington Examiner that delays in receiving Boeing's new 787 Dreamliners would reduce the number of international flights available during the summer of 2022. Vasu Raja, chief revenue officer for American Airlines, said the company was awaiting the delivery of "as many as 13" aircraft that were supposed to be among the fleet.
"This weekend we will upload our summer 2022 long-haul schedule, but it will not have the growth we initially expected," Raja said in the memo. "Boeing continues to be unable to deliver the 787's we have on order, including as many as 13 aircraft that were slated to be in our fleet by this winter."
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Hong Kong, China; Shannon, Ireland; and Edinburgh, Scotland, were among the places the airline will no longer service next summer. Meanwhile, Shanghai and Beijing, along with Sydney, Australia, will see reductions in flights.
"Without these wide-bodies, we simply won't be able to fly as much internationally as we had planned next summer, or as we did in summer 2019," Raja said.
The airline will also not be flying to other cities such as Prague, Czech Republic, and Dubrovnik, Croatia. Planned routes from Seattle to Bangalore, India, will be delayed.
"Despite this setback, we will take actions to control what we can and deliver the best possible airline to our customers," Raja said. "We will do our best to minimize the damage these aircraft delivery delays have caused to our long-haul portfolio while giving certainty to our customers who will begin to book summer travel in the new year."
Deliveries of the Dreamliner aircraft are expected to resume by April 1, 2022, a date increase from an earlier prediction, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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American Airlines was forced to cancel or delay thousands of flights in October due to extreme weather conditions and staffing shortages. Earlier in the month, the Allied Pilots Association warned the airline could face staffing issues if it implemented a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. In early November, the company delayed implementing the mandate until Jan. 4 amid flight cancellations.
The Washington Examiner reached out to Boeing for a statement but did not receive a response.