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A Look Back at American’s Shifting Fleet As It Plans to Retire Two More Types

In an internal memo last week, American explained that it was going to retire two more fleets in the next couple of years with both the Embraer 190 and A330-300s hitting the road. Both these moves make sense in the context of the airline’s future plans, but it made me think about the evolution of American’s fleet through two mergers and plenty of crises. I went back to the year 2000 to illustrate just how much things have changed. Here’s a chart showing the fleet mix at the end of each of the… ( More...

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Just flew a 752 PHL-LIS. 757 is probably my favorite aircraft. Looks good and performs like a sports car!. This one was old and sorry. AA also use the 763 on the LHR-RDU route and for customers each one is a poor experience. It is however convenient. UPGRADE the customer experience and get rid of the old worn out aircraft. Give us 772s and 788/9s on these routes and keep us flying US carriers!
Tim Swift 2
Leaving Sky Harbor a few weeks ago and looked over at this American and had a good laugh..
This is some great fleet analysis.
Brent Moody 2
I will miss the A333's. I love the business class flights to Europe out of Charlotte because the business class seats are always fully lay flat on this aircraft.
Many of the American 752 763 and even some 777s don't guarantee you'll be fully flat in business class.
I pick my aircraft very carefully on American and frequently code share on British Airways as British airways has fully lie flat in all business class cabins
I hope American gets the point where all business class or fully lie flat with direct I'll access then I would never need to look at anything else .
Absolutely. I always use the 333 between FRA-CLT and I love their business class. Wish they would finally use a new plane between FRA-DFW.
Ric Wernicke 1
The most telling part of the article is the reduction in total fleet size from 1,400 to 1,000 aircraft.

Former AA chief Bob Crandall often said if you want to make a million dollars, take a billion dollars and start an airline.

It looks like this is where this is headed.
btweston 3
I'd imagine this was the plan all along. Merge with US Airways (or take them over, whatever), reduce competition, trim the fat, make more money.
IIRC, AWE bought AAL because AAL was going bankrupt. In fact, it was AWE that ate up both AAL and USA. If anything, this could be AWE's modus operandi.
Yes daniel I agree with you there i have seen for myself the mixture of AAL aircraft from the 727's DC10'S 747'S 737'S and the disposal of aircraft which was a waste to send them to the desert floors they could have kept them with the mergers even when they went to chapter 11 a few years back now the bigger or older heavies of the seventies eighties have gone still there are some younger sircraft stored or sitting idle why? I have no idea
Art Troutman -1
A cardinal rule in the industry has always been - to minimize the number of different models in your fleet. The benefits are obvious - simplifying spare parts inventories - and reducing flight crew training requirements, to name a few. The prize winner in this regard has been Southwest - with an all-737 fleet. One of the disadvantages of mergers and takeovers is ending up with a 'mongrel' fleet - such as Delta inheriting Northwest's DC-9's and A330's and American, US Air's A330's. To further compound the situation - the 'mongrels' are apt to be difficult to unload, because of obsolescence, poor market demand, etc.
Ric Wernicke 2
I believe the Cardinal is dead. Any well equipped shed with have the proper tool for the job. Even Southwest is finding it difficult to service all their ambitions with the 737.

Airlines today must serve both local and long haul markets to survive. There is no single aircraft that can competitively serve both.


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