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American stretches cancellations, begins flying MAX rival

April 9, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

American Airlines, the world’s biggest air carrier, has extended by six weeks its cancellations of about 90 flights a day (causing disruptions for travellers) due to the grounding of the troubled Boeing 737 Max aircraft type – while at the same time starting to fly the Airbus A321neo, a 737 MAX rival.

The timing is coincidental, as American ordered the Airbus planes years in advance, but the juxtaposition is unfortunate for Boeing.

American confirmed yesterday it would extend its multiple daily flight cancellations until 5 June 2019, the Dallas Morning News reported. The cancellations were initially due to end on 24 April 2019. The airline acknowledges that the prolonged cancellations could bring disruption for some travellers.

The Boeing-made 737 MAX jets have been grounded since mid-March, following two deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. American has 24 MAX jets in its fleet.

MEANWHILE, American has launched the 196-seat Airbus A321neo into service, with a new cabin and larger overhead luggage bins.

American Airlines ordered 100 new Airbus A321neos and is the launch customer for the new Airspace XL bins, which provide about 40% more overhead storage space for passengers.


American Airlines is the launch customer for the Airspace XL bins, on its new Airbus A321neo planes. The bins provide approximately 40% more overhead storage space 

In addition to equipping its new A321neos with the XL bins, American also plans to retrofit its entire in-service fleet of earlier A321 models – more than 200 aircraft – with the cabin features included on the new A321neos.

The Boeing 737 MAX was designed as a challenger to the A320neo. The A321neo is the largest variant of the A320neo and is about 7 metres longer, with a shorter range.

Airbus A321neo

Airbus’ vice president of cabin marketing, Ingo Wuggetzer, said Airbus constantly worked with its airline customers to improve aircraft cabins “and American in particular played an instrumental role with us in developing our biggest and best overhead bins to date”.

The Airspace XL bins accommodate larger bags – up to 24” x 16” x 10” (61cm x 40.5cm x 25.5cm) – allowing standard roll-on bags to be loaded on their sides instead of being inserted flat, thus creating room for up to four bags in each bin instead of the current three.

Written by Peter Needham

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