ABC News reported that the suspect ran down the jetway and into the cockpit, damaging flight controls and attempting to jump out an open window as a pilots tried to stop him.
“We applaud our outstanding crew members for their professionalism in handling a difficult situation,” American said in its statement.
The damaged aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 carrying 121 passengers and six crew members, was grounded at Ramon Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the airline said.
A replacement plane was on its way to Honduras and scheduled to depart at 9:30 p.m. local time.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb, Steve Gorman and David Shepardson; Editing by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler)