American Airlines to suspend Sydney flights this week

Ongoing delays with aircraft delivery mean the Qantas partner will take a break on its Los Angeles to Sydney route.

By David Flynn, May 2 2022
American Airlines to suspend Sydney flights this week
Executive Traveller exclusive

Ongoing delays to the delivery of new Boeing 787 aircraft will see American Airlines temporarily shelve its flights between Sydney and Los Angeles, with the final service for the time being leaving the NSW capital this Wednesday 4 May.

A spokesperson for the Dallas-based airline and Qantas Oneworld partner has told Executive Traveller it remains committed to Australia. The daily trans-Pacific service was American’s only Australian route.

"Due to ongoing delivery delays with several Boeing 787 aircraft, we continue adjusting our schedule. We expect to resume service between Los Angeles and Sydney in October."

Qantas’ daily Sydney-Los Angeles schedule in May shows an Airbus A380 six days a week, with the mid-sized Boeing 787 Dreamliner currently slotting in on Tuesdays. Sunday services have shifted back to the superjumbo but have had their flight times moved to a 9:25pm departure from Sydney, touching down at LAX at 6:10pm the same day.

The Boeing 787 has become American’s international workhorse, but in December 2021 the airline suggested it would need to revise its schedule to account for as many as 13 planes needed but which were still undelivered.

American Airlines plans to resume its Sydney services in October 2022.
American Airlines plans to resume its Sydney services in October 2022.

“Without these wide-bodies, we simply won’t be able to fly as much internationally as we had planned next summer,” Vasu Raja, American’s chief revenue officer, said in a recent internal memo.

In a posting to American’s internal staff website, the airline stated “we had expected Boeing to deliver all 13 of our delayed 787-8 aircraft in 2022, but we now expect to receive only 10 787-8s this year, with the remaining aircraft now scheduled for delivery in 2023.”

Boeing is working to find and repair tiny structural imperfections in the carbon-fibre aircraft while addressing quality lapses among suppliers and their subcontractors.

“Despite the ongoing delay, we still have tremendous confidence in the aircraft and will continue to work with Boeing on their delivery,” the airline stated, adding that the airline would receive compensation from Boeing “for their inability to deliver the aircraft.”

American's US rivals Delta Air Lines and newly-minted Virgin Australia partner United Airlines will continue their daily Sydney-Los Angeles flights, with the former increasing its schedule to ten weekly from December 2022.

Additional reporting by Matt Lennon.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


03 May 2013

Total posts 664

Slightly OT but has Qantas received its last 3 787's yet?

30 Aug 2021

Total posts 1

not yet

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Nov 2018

Total posts 97

“tiny structural imperfections… quality lapses among suppliers and their subcontractors.”

I suddenly feel even more nervous about Boeing aircraft. You couldn’t PAY me to get on a 737 Max, and I always knew there would be problems with the 787… but that paragraph made my stomach turn over.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 151

Reminds me of the Comet. BOAC said nothing wrong with it, until there was a lot wrong with it and people died.

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