American Airlines recently announced that it is cutting back flights during the summer after Boeing revealed delays in its delivery of widebody planes. Boeing has recently revealed difficulties in delivering these new jets to various airlines because of production flaws. American Airlines was supposed to receive 13 planes this year, while now it appears they will only get 10 this year. As a result, they feel they must cut summer flights — especially international summer flights.
This latest news comes as many airlines in the United States are still working towards recovery after suffering greatly in many ways during the pandemic. As the pandemic remains ongoing, and may change with different phases of the pandemic, the airline industry is not yet out of the clear yet and will likely have to continue to adapt to these new changes as the pandemic remains fluid.
American Airlines previously had anticipated operating about 89% of its 2019 summer schedule during 2022’s summer. In December, the company scaled this back to about 80% of its operations, eliminating frequent international flights and some international routes completely. As summer gets closer, this schedule may change again, though it likely will still not reach the schedule experienced in 2019.
Boeing, meanwhile, doesn’t have a timetable on when it will finish the remaining planes that were ordered. While American Airlines states that Boeing has promised compensation because of this delay, there are still many planes needed to conduct business for these airlines. Boeing’s delivery of these planes was delayed after a problem in production was discovered. Now, the Federal Aviation Administration has to approve the production of these planes.
For the most part, international flights were the main cancelations done by American Airlines. While some routes were completely stopped, others routes just became limited, rather than regularly or even daily. This is a notable change, however, as international flight is such an important feature in any airlines’ business.
International flight has, of course, been greatly impacted by the pandemic. However, as people become used to living with the pandemic, and as more and more people become fully vaccinated in the United States and around the world, certain restrictions and regulations have gone away. It is easier to travel internationally to many places now, even with the remaining restrictions.
However, now that American Airlines is limiting their international travel because of the delayed Boeing planes, this could harm their overall progress towards recovery. The airline company has had a difficult few years, just as so many other airlines in the United States have. While travel has definitely picked up in the past year or so, there are still major limitations and problems that have impacted business — and could continue to.
For example, in December of 2021, thousands of flights in the United States were canceled or delayed because of the quick spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Flight crews and employees quickly became infected and called out, leaving operations to barely continue. This problem remains a potential issue, especially if another wave of the pandemic harms operations.