American Airlines is cutting flights to Latin America and the Caribbean next summer because of recent delays with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
The airline, which announced the move Monday, says it will be temporarily suspending service from Dallas Love Field to Cancun starting May 1 and from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport to Playa del Carmen beginning May 11. It also will adjust flights from its Miami hub to Europe and the Mediterranean region.
“This fleet update will allow us to strategically position our remaining Dreamliner capacity to grow in markets where our customers are looking for a reliable, value-packed global, long-haul travel experience,” American spokesman Ross Feinstein said in a statement.
American made the decision in response to delayed engine deliveries and a series of issues with the 787’s lithium ion batteries. The airline had expressed concerns about the 787 for several years as problems multiplied. The Miami Herald reported in September that the 787 planes were having troubles that “sounded more like bugs in code than failures in the aircraft.”
In December 2013, American’s president Douglas Parker called the 787 the “baddest aircraft on the [conduit] grid.”
Some analysts say the delays and failures can be traced to the jet’s propulsion system, which uses a large amount of nickel, nickel-cadmium, and aluminum alloys, according to the Herald.
American has had more than 20 incidents involving the 787, causing hundreds of hours of unscheduled delays and grounding the fleet for five days in December 2013.
In November 2014, American disclosed that the battery in one of its 787s had exploded.
The airline has said that every Dreamliner that has been grounded was scrapped in the meantime, and the 787 fleet currently is the most maintenance-intensive in its fleet, the Herald reported.
In February 2016, the airline grounded the fleet again, because of an issue with one of the cockpit voice recorders on the 787. The Dreamliner that American had in the skies at the time is the same one that was involved in this month’s battery problems.
American is the second American-U.S. carrier to ground the Dreamliner in recent weeks. On Dec. 16, Alaska Airlines voluntarily grounded one of its 787s “out of an abundance of caution.”