American’s fleet will shrink by about 30 aircraft over the next year, netting new planes coming in and more than 100 retirements. Nonetheless, total available seats will rise because the airline has been adding seats to their existing planes.
On the whole they won’t have more seats in each plane type than their competitors, which just underscores how generous they used to be.
Airbus A319: They’re adding (7) A319s bringing the combined American and US Airways fleet up to 125.
I visited American’s first A319 in the hanger about 18 months ago. It’s an aircraft type that US Airways has long operated. Here’s what the new one looks like:
Airbus A320: American is retiring 8 America West legacy A320, and will have 55 left in the fleet.
Airbus A321: American will add 35 A321s to their fleet for a total of 174. US Airways was a big operator of this aircraft for its longer domestic flights. Legacy American has two configurations — one which flies non-premium domestic routes and is configured in the new domestic interior, and one that flies New York JFK – Los Angeles and San Francisco.
I flew the inaugural of the premium 3-cabin A321 last year.
Airbus A330: The airline has 24.
Boeing 737-800: American will be adding 18 of these aircraft to its fleet, bringing their total to 264.
The new interior first introduced in their A319s is also how they outfit their new 737s.
Boeing 757: American is retiring 37 of their 106 planes, bringing their fleet down to 69 by the end of the year. 757s on international routes are getting a lie flat retrofit.
Boeing 767: The six US Airways 767-200s are being retired in February. American is retiring 9 767-300s. They’ll have 49 767s left by the end of the year.
The domestic and Hawaii aircraft will remain angled in the premium cabin.
Boeing 777-200: American has 47 of these, which are being retrofit with new reverse herringbone forward and backward-facing business class seats (and removing first class) and going 10-across in economy.
Boeing 777-300ER: American will add two to its fleet for a total of 18.
This is American’s only aircraft that will still offer a first class cabin, and the one that I declared two years ago to offer the best business class across the Atlantic.
Boeing 787-8: American just took delivery of their first one and expects to have 12 by the end of the year.
McDonnell Douglas MD-80s: American will retire 43 of their 139 MD-80s, bringing them down to a fleet of 96. They have gogo inflight internet but no video. I don’t love the lack of seat power. But I still try to grab these aircraft domestically because of the high proportion of first class seats to economy, and that the left side of the aircraft has two instead of three coach seats which are quite pleasant in Main Cabin Extra.