American Airlines pulled 14 recently modified Boeing 737-800s from service due to "quality" issues with the new interior work and is inspecting them, the airline said March 7.
The modification work is part of American's Project Oasis, which will see cabin updates on 737-800s so their capacities match larger 737-8s. Similar work is being done to harmonize A321 and A321neo interiors.
Everett, Wash.-based Aviation Technical Services (ATS), one of several third-party suppliers performing Oasis work, modified the 14 grounded 737-800s.
"We have identified an issue with the quality of work conducted on overhead bins on two of these Boeing 737-800 aircraft," American said. "After further inspection by American, the work that was conducted on these two aircraft was not up to our standards. Out of an abundance of caution, we have proactively removed from service the additional 12 aircraft that were updated by this vendor and have notified the FAA."
American did not provide details on the specific problems. The airline said it was forced to cancel about 40 flights due to the aircraft being grounded. ATS said it is working with the airline to further understand the issue.
The 737-800 Oasis modifications, which increases capacity 12 seats to 172 seats, began last year and has been done on about 70 aircraft. Plans call for most of the airline's 304 737-800s to be modified. Aircraft slated for near-term retirement will not be upgraded.