On October 29 American Airlines sent an eight year old Boeing 777-300ER to their Tulsa maintenance facility for insect abatement.
A couple of weeks later the plane was out and back in service – but it flew a single Miami to Dallas – Fort Worth segment before returning to Tulsa on November 14.
Aircraft N724AN was still on the ground in Tulsa when I wrote about it in early December, scheduled out of service through December 20th.
I reached out to American Airlines on November 18th about the aircraft, and while they promised to get back to me with details they’ve been tight-lipped about the condition of the plane. From a passenger-facing standpoint, when there aren’t insect infestations, this is the best aircraft in the fleet.
American wouldn’t share word on just what insects invaded the aircraft, or what damage they might have done while there that’s caused so much time in maintenance. And they wouldn’t speak to why they thought the plane was airworthy in mid-November, but had to return for more insect mitigation work after only a single segment. Did it involve passenger experience issues, mechanical issues, or both?
A tipster shared,
I work for AA, in Tulsa. The plane is here because of a bad insect infestation; there aren’t any mechanical issues.
The plane came here initially because of the infestation, we bombed it 9 times, and then sent it out again. It came back shortly thereafter, because the 9 bombings weren’t enough.
Now, the plane is back on maintenance, and getting completely torn apart so that we can finally put an end to this infestation. The seats, carpets, lavs, galleys, floorboards- everything is coming out, so that we can get rid of this problem, and serve our customers better.
Well now the plane is finally back in service. It was ferried from Tulsa to Dallas on New Year’s Day. And on Monday it flew Dallas to London. It will then fly to New York, and is scheduled to then fly to Sao Paulo and on to Miami. Hopefully now after several months it is pest free.