American Airlines Will Finally Operate Boeing 787s From New York

In a scoop broken first by aviation watchdog JonNYC, American Airlines is opening up a New York Boeing 787 pilot base. Basing 787 pilots in New York will allow the airline to operate that aircraft from New York JFK without deadheading pilots in from other cities. American Airlines has been flying all Boeing 777s on long haul international routes.

That they’re doing this now suggests that the airline will likely fly new-delivery Boeing 787-9s, which will be heavily skewed towards premium seats with their new business class suites with doors, out of New York. That makes sense, as it’s a more premium market than many of their other opportunities.

Credit: American Airlines

We already know that the new Dallas – Brisbane flight will be operated by this plane, so DFW airport will get a couple of new delivery 787-9s. At least a couple should go to New York initially.

American Airlines Boeing 787-9

JonNYC is reporting that the pilot base will initially be staffed by 20 captains and 20 first officers, which would support a single long haul destination. The most likely of American’s current destinations would seem to be the often weight-restricted Delhi (so a premium configuration Boeing 787-9 with fewer seats would make sense) or Tokyo Haneda.

American would also be able to operate smaller Boeing 787-8 aircraft from New York, which carry fewer passengers than the Boeing 777, allowing the airline to serve more routes (and to not lose as much money in the wintertime on non-seasonal Europe).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The single best thing AA can do to make NYC more profitable for them. I have only been saying it for years.

    DEL makes sense but so does HND which would allow AA to operate with much lower costs.

    And, yes, as long as AA has committed to 787-8s – which cost much more per seat to operate than the -9s, they might as well use them at JFK.

  2. Tim,

    Since you seem to consistently suggest that seat costs are the sole determinant of profitability, maybe PERFECT Airlines will begin flying A350s between New York and Boston in the future. CASM isn’t a GAAP measure for a reason.

  3. no, you former HP braintrust, the A350 is not economical flying 200 mile routes and neither is the 787.

    The 787 is much more economical than the 777-200ER. AA already has a revenue disadvantage in NYC. They don’t need a cost disadvantage too.
    They are simply moving their assets around and leave the 777s for other hubs.

    Sorry that your blind bias is so strong that you can’t accept commendation for a good action that AA is taking.

  4. I love it that a story about AA results in ME being the only one that rationally talks about it and supports it and then some people think I am biased.

    It’s Friday night but at least 2 people have already hit the sauce and it isn’t the person that posted first to this article.

  5. Looking at the schedule out in the July timeframe, it looks like the aa26/27 flights from/to LAX have a long layover in HND (nearly 5.5 hours). If you drop in the 788 from JFK suddenly you have a little more flexibility if equipment needs a repair and as well perhaps you can improve ground time a little in HND with the 3 flights on the ground from JFK, LAX and DFW around the same time with the same frame type – maybe increasing utilization a bit.

    My best guess is on JFK-HND downgauging to a 788 with the winter schedule (late October) assuming the second LAX flight and the DFW flight to HND stay 788. If they upgrade to 789s – then that’s what JFK moves to.

  6. About damn time!

    AA wouldn’t be operating a vase for just a few routes though (I think), so this may indicate an expansion of JFK long haul

  7. 20 Captains and 20 FO’s? I guess AA will continue to DH copilots, because they would need 3X FO’s to Captains to do augmented crews for long haul. Or they are only doing one route with the 78. DEL or HND, but not both.

  8. A220
    we’re on the same page!
    And I do hope this represents an eventual shift of the 777 to MIA or DFW and basing of 787s at JFK for most markets.
    Whether it leads to expansion depends on getting the revenue piece right and AA is still at a distinct disadvantage at JFK in that regard. but the 787 is modern and economical and it will allow them to efficiently compete in competitive long haul markets.

    converting the 777-300ERs to a super business premium aircraft is not the right formula for JFK other than to LHR.

    it’s also notable that AA bringing the 787 to JFK allow them to compete better with UA since the two routes where the 787 will help most over the 777 is HND and DEL. DL might eventually serve those routes but they are likely to use their A350s – which are also coming to JFK – for other routes likely within the next year.

  9. Must agree with Tim on this one, AA should be limit flying the 772s on shorter routes from JFK (to LHR, etc) and transition to the 789s on the longer and/or thinner routes. They should have converted most of the initial order(s) from the 788s to 789s years ago.

  10. Tim is gonna lose his damn mind when he finds out delta is running away scared from lax-dal and lax-lhr. Delta is dropping both routes. I truly can’t wait for the tirade of hurt anger when that gets posted

  11. @Mike – I think AA’s DFW-HND service will likely be upgraded to a 787-9. Pre-pandemic, AA flew between DFW and Tokyo (NRT) 2x daily with 777-200ERs. I assume that’s because they had more connectivity to other points in Asia through NRT, but I think it’s likely DFW-HND will be upgraded to a 789. I think AA might even put their new premium-heavy 789 on that route, and then that plane would then fly to JFK and back, and then back to DFW (DFW-HND-JFK-HND-DFW). JAL has also upgraded its DFW route from a 787-9 pre-pandemic to a 777-300ER currently (and soon the A350-1000). There must be a lot of premium demand on that route.

  12. I’m not, tim
    You just don’t have good sources. 😉

    I believe you spent 40 comments on the love field gate article talking about how delta’s one gate was the coming of Christ and the end of WN and AA in dallas…. 🙂
    Now delta is just back to all atl-dal.

  13. Btw.
    While I’m flattered that you replied to me nearly asap after I wrote, you really need a life.
    But your comments above were entertaining. Usual Timmy stuff
    1. Say “i told you so” for something you don’t get
    2. Call someone a name when you don’t know how to respond

    And btw. A 234 seat 788 does not have higher CASM than a 244 seat 789. But quite predictable that you don’t understand that just like your nonsense the other day about the JL a35k and suggesting it had lower CASM than a JL or even a DL a359
    It doesn’t… but if you knew something about CASM and how seats on a plane play into the calc, you’d know that…

  14. Any chance AA would swap the 772 for a 787 on the new JFK-HND when it launches the route in July?

  15. Great to see AA adding the B787 base to JFK. While the B788 might have a higher CASM than the B789, it does have a lower overall cost which will help during the slower winter seasons. If they can keep costs down, IMO they will do well with moving the current B777 routes to B787’s.

  16. “Dallas – Brisbane flight will be operated by this plane, so DFW airport will get a couple of new delivery 787-9s”

    A couple? How on earth can they operate a ~15 hour service with 2 aircraft? They will need 4, inclusive of a spare, which, this being AA, they may forego (who cares if pax are stranded after a mechanical if they can lower the fare by $20?).

  17. @ Tim — Seems you may be hitting the crack pipe. I do not “hit” anything other than SCROLL DOWN. I will no longer feed this troll. No further replies for you.

  18. Thank you, Gary. This is a great way to deliver news without commentary typical of articles related to American Airlines – direct without the negative editorial subtext.

  19. yes, Max, you are hallucinating because your basic assumption is wrong.
    Never have I criticized an airline for dropping any route. I have criticized them for NOT cancelling routes and acting like a utility rather than a for-profit company.
    YOU wrap your identity around routes and size; I simply note accurately that DL is still the largest airline at LAX and will keep growing as they put 45 new and reconfigured A350s into service, all of which will have TPAC range.
    Delta has its own gate at Love Field. They fought to win it and can do what makes sense with it. AA will see WN add DFW flights and more of them than AA will do much if anything at Love Field.

    we are all better off by you not posting anything in response to me.

    none of which changes that MAX and others are more fixated with me and trying to find dirt on Delta – whether it is logical to do so or not – than to celebrate a victory for AA which I repeatedly said they would do and are now doing.
    The only comfort I take is that some people are so deadset to trash anything that they also trash a positive story about AA or UA even when I see the value in the moves at either of those two companies.

  20. No joke, as soon as I saw this headline I rushed through the post just so I can get down to the metaphysically certain and inevitable boxing match, Dunn v. All Comers. I’m here for it.

    Think this round goes to Dunn.

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