American’s 767s Will Be Retired in 2020, but Lima Will Get the Worst Aircraft the Longest

At American’s ‘Crew News’ employee forum on Wednesday a Lima-based flight attendant asked about the airline’s plans to send new aircraft to Lima — the 757s and 767s they’re getting just aren’t reliable.

The airline’s CEO Doug Parker began answering by saying “there are challenges with Lima because of the altitude” (although it’s worth noting that British Airways, Air France and KLM all fly Boeing 777s there) but they recognize that the Boeing 767 “doesn’t look like the rest of the airline” in terms of customer experience.

Parker has talked in the past about the need to get rid of the Boeing 767s from the fleet although while I think the business class experience is subpar coach is roomier.

American Airlines Boeing 767 Business Class

The airline ordered 787s which will replace 767s in a few years.

American Boeing 787-8 in Chicago

According to American’s Vice President – Planning Vasu Raja,

  • The 767 is operationally challenged.

  • They’ll retire the aircraft “by 2020 or so”

  • But Lima will be “one of the later markets to have the 78” (they’ll build up a Philadelphia base for it first, the Miami – Lima 767 will probably be the first Lima flight to get a 787 because they maintain 787s in Miami).

  • However the Dallas – Lima Boeing 757 is a challenge. “That airplane, we don’t have enough demand on it where we would go and upgauge it something else.” It’s one of the few flights in Dallas “that doesn’t do particularly well for us” but they keep it because “about 35% of that airplane actually connects into Asia, primarily into China” so it supports their Dallas – Asia network.

  • The hope is that American’s joint venture with LATAM will grow the Dallas flight allowing them to put a bigger plane on the route. In the meantime though a 757 will fly on the route for the foreseeable future.

Back in March Parker explained Parker that the airline “tries to isolate” the bad customer experience aircraft to a few places so they don’t disappoint customers, and “where they’re the least painful to our most important customers, don’t go tell your customers that.” The yields are lower for Lima than London, so Lima gets the old aircraft not London.

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. Gary, Lima is at sea level. You can, literally, watch the ocean from your dinner table. It’s a port city, so Parker has no idea what he is talking about and it’s totally irrelevant what aircraft other airlines manage to fly in there – suggest you update the article to reflect how nonsensical that comment of Parker’s is.

  2. I think everyone at this point knows Doug Parker is an idiot.

    Gary, how old are those 767s? You think UA would be interested in retrofitting them with Polaris seats?

  3. maybe drunk parker can send them to denver? it is same altitude as lima (highest peak in lima region) but the airport is actually 100 feet above sea level
    I can’t believe he gets away with such stupidity

  4. DCA can handle 767s; we’d be glad to have them here…

    Anything resembling lie-flat would be much better than anything AA currently has on mid-con or transcon routes out of DC.

  5. DFW-LIM is the same distance basically as DFW-ANC … 757 is a perfectly appropriate aircraft for a 6 hour flight–it’s essentially the exact type of flight it was designed for. The state of the interior is on AA. It’s also the exact type of route that will lead to the 797 becoming a reality.

  6. I use to fly MIA-LIM back in 2005 and even back then the flight back to MIA was terrible. They used the oldest plane I have ever been on and the air ventilation was plain awful. Use to come home all stuffed up etc,
    Would be interesting to see how the others carriers do on these LIM flights

  7. The altitude? Is he mixing Lima up with someplace else? Lima airport is directly at sea level. Its not like they are taking the plane to Cusco, up past 10k feet.

  8. Did you see that with the 757 and 767 retired, LIM-MIA now gets a domestic A321. 🙁 DFW-LIM gets a 788.

  9. It’s not so clever to put in service the A321 when Latam has B767’s. The flight experience is way much better. Another thing that Latam has in advantage over American is the baggage allowance.
    I travel often to Miami from Lima in business class, usually with Latam because of the comfort of the aircraft, but I started flying with American (always choosing the B767) because it was very confortable the new configuration of their 767’s, but I think I will switch again to Latam.
    Airlines are changing always but sadly always instead of improving they offer worse service everytime they change something.

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