Along with American Airlines fourth quarter and year-end results, the airline filed an expected fleet plan with the SEC. They’ve outlined the planes in their fleet at the end of 2018, along with where they’re expecting to be in each of 2019, 2020, and 2021.
The data shows several interesting things.
- They’ve been taking on used Airbus A319s, and they expect to add more A319s to the fleet. The industry can’t seem to get enough of these small narrowbodies.
- We’ll start to see the Airbus A321neo coming into the fleet this year and they expect to have 50 by the end of 2021. The A321neo starts out on the West Coast, based in Phoenix and Los Angeles. The goal is that these planes will fly Phoenix and Los Angeles to Hawaii and Los Angeles to the East Coast. Hawaii flying with the aircraft is expected to start in September.
- Though they’ve been trying to minimize the number of subfleets they operate, they plan to keep their 9 Airbus A330-300s in service. These were delivered to US Airways between March of 2000 and March 2001. They do not have premium economy.
- American’s 767s will all be gone by 2021. That’s a shame – no one ever figured out how to squeeze more than 7 seats abreast in coach on these planes, so they’re probably the best passenger experience in back in the international fleet. In contrast, Delta is putting new business class suites with doors in their 767-400s.
- American is taking on a bunch of Boeing 787-8s but only a couple more 787-9s in the near term. That’s odd because American doesn’t seem to know what to do with their 787-8s. They’ve taken business class seats out, so they can’t go to Heathrow, and instead have been flying to Cancun.
- The MD80s go away this year. That’s nice from an operational standpoint (they break down a lot) but sad in terms of passenger experience — a great ratio of first class seats vs. coach, and everyone loves the 2-3 configuration (at least if they are sitting on the side of the plane with just two seats).
- The Embraer E-190s leave the fleet, these are large regional jets that are part of the mainline fleet from legacy US Airways.
- They’re growing the number of large regional jets with first class and soon seat power, while shrinking their fleet of small regional jets.
Here’s the full chart: