American Airlines is cutting international flights in 2022. What that means for Philly’s summer travel plans.
American Airlines curtails some European, other international flights in 2022 due to Boeing Dreamliner airplane production delays. Philly to Edinburgh, Scotland and Shannon, Ireland were cut entirely.
American Airlines trimmed its 2022 flight schedule, including two flights from Philadelphia, saying the airline will fly only 80% of its summer schedule compared with pre-pandemic 2019.
The Fort Worth, Texas, company, which is the dominant carrier at Philadelphia International Airport, blamed delays in Boeing’s production of its Dreamliner airplane.
“Boeing continues to be unable to deliver the 787s we have on order, including as many as 13 aircraft that were slated to be in our fleet by this winter,” Vasu Raja, American Airlines’ chief revenue officer, said in a statement Thursday.
“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,” he said.
Boeing 787 aircraft are the wide-body, long-haul planes ordered for trans-Atlantic international travel. American currently has 46 Boeing 787s, and was due to receive an additional 14 in 2021 and 2022. American has received only one, as Boeing grapples with production problems.
In Philadelphia, American will discontinue direct service to Edinburgh, Scotland, and Shannon, Ireland. American will still operate up to 12 daily flights to 11 trans-Atlantic destinations out of Philly’s airport.
From March 27 through Oct. 29, American will offer daily flights to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris, Rome, and Zurich. Daily flights to Athens will run from April 6 through Sept. 7 and to Venice from May 6 through Oct. 29. The airline currently flies daily to London’s Heathrow Airport; that route will have two daily flights from March 27 through Oct. 29.
American’s expansion of service to other markets, including Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Prague, will be delayed through 2022.
Nationally, American plans to maintain its flights to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America; fly a full schedule to London, Dublin, and Madrid; and add a route between New York and Doha, Qatar.
In total, American’s flight schedule rose 37% from summer 2021 and 12% from summer 2020, the airline said.
Philadelphia International Airport’s chief executive, Chellie Cameron, said the routes American Airlines announced for summer 2022 out of Philadelphia International Airport “are an important step in recovery — both for our airport and for the aviation industry. We look forward to connecting Philadelphians, as well as travelers throughout the U.S., to many destinations in Europe, including Lisbon, Venice, Amsterdam and Zurich, with more to follow.”
Boeing, which found manufacturing defects in the jets a year ago, apologized for the delays.
“Our team is continuing comprehensive inspections and rework, as needed, on undelivered airplanes, while holding transparent discussions with the FAA, our suppliers and customers. We respect the role of our regulator and their rigorous reviews of our processes,” the Chicago-based manufacturer said.