American Airlines grounds 14 737-800s over retrofit problem

American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) had to ground 14 freshly retrofitted aircraft after it spotted a problem with overhead bins that do not close properly. The U.S. carrier claims the issue never affected safety and the groundings is just a precautionary measure. But the move also comes as a malevolent moment for critics who have been complaining about the “ever shrinking passenger seats”.

On March 7, 2019, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) group grounded 14 Boeing 737-800s after receiving warnings by pilots that overhead bins in aircraft cabins are not closing. The airline claims the move was taken out of caution, and the Federal Aviation Administration was notified about the issue.

The problem occured after retrofitting the planes. American Airways is aiming to modernize around 200 aircraft in its fleet, having so far completed approximately 70 retrofits of its Boeing 737-800s.

The “Project Oasis”, as American’s retrofit effort is called, is hardly the favourite carrier’s initiative in the eyes of its passengers. While the program aims to “harmonize and optimize” the airline’s Boeing 737-800 fleet, it also  includes adding 12 extra seats to older generation 737-800 aircraft, so they could seat as much as the new 737 MAX planes ‒ 172 passengers.

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