American Airlines Suspends First Route Due to Boeing 737 MAX Grounding

Jul 1, 2019

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American Airlines flights to Oakland, California, this summer have fallen victim to the continued grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX.

The Oneworld Alliance carrier will suspend one of its two routes to Oakland (OAK), dropping its daily flight to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) from July 6 to Sept. 4 due to the ongoing MAX situation, says American spokeswoman Nichelle Tait. This is the first route the company has put on hiatus because of the three month-long grounding.

American’s service between Oakland and Phoenix (PHX) will continue.

While the Oakland flights are flown with 737-800 aircraft, and not the 737 MAX, temporarily suspending the route frees up an aircraft to cover for the MAX elsewhere in the airline’s schedule.

“We are moving our aircraft around the system as efficiently as possible,” says Tait.

Related: American Airlines’ Phoenix Hub is Still Growing; Carrier Adds 3 New Routes

American operated 24 737 MAX 8 when aircraft was grounded in March following the second of two fatal crashes within five months. The company has removed the MAX from schedules through Sept. 3, resulting in roughly 115 daily flight cancellations through the summer.

In April, the company forecast that the 737 MAX grounding would reduce its 2019 pre-tax earnings by about $350 million through Aug. 19. Executives said at the time that this number would rise the longer the aircraft was out of service.

American will continue to serve the Bay Area from Dallas/Fort Worth with flights to San Francisco (SFO) and San Jose (SJC), California, according to Diio by Cirium schedules.

Related: American Airlines Gives Up on Flying to China From Chicago

Separately, American has shifted two of its routes to Vancouver (YVR) to seasonal status. The airline will suspend flights to the Canadian city from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) on Sept. 4, and from Phoenix on Nov. 20 and resume service in June 2020, Diio shows and Tait confirms.

Both routes to Vancouver were underperforming, she says. American will continue to serve Vancouver year-round from Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles.

The carrier plans to grow system capacity by roughly 2.5% in 2019, with the majority of that concentrated at Dallas/Fort Worth.

Featured image courtesy of American Airlines.

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