Leak: American Ordering 47 Boeing 787s, Possible Replacement for A330s, 767s

A couple of weeks ago there was a strong rumor that instead of American Airlines swapping out their orders for Airbus A350s for A330neos, they would be ordering more Boeing 787s instead.

Leeham News reported that an order announcement was expected by American’s earnings call later this month. But this appeared briefly on the Boeing website. Now it’s gone.

American currently has 9 Airbus A330-300s that they’re retiring and 15 A330-200s that to date they’ve said they are keeping. They have 24 Boeing 767s, and they’ve been vacillating on whether or not to keep and update them or replace them although it sure sounded in February like they were keeping them.


Boeing 787-9 Cockpit

The 767s have inferior business class seats, to be sure, but most of the criticism comes over coach and they have reliability issues. Nonetheless, 2-3-2 seating probably offers the best coach experience in the widebody fleet. American’s CEO Doug Parker said these planes needed to be “retired sooner.”1


Boeing 767 Business Class

Since there are 24 A330s and 24 Boeing 767s, one imagines that a 787 order for 47 airframes would be geared towards replacement. Although an order might be a mix of 787-8s which would fit that bill while the 787-9s carries more passengers and can fly slightly longer distances.

Update: There’s a discussion at airliners.net about this as well.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. Now confirmed by American – 22 x 787-8 and 25 x 787-9

    -8s to replace 767s
    -9s to replace A330-300s and older 777-200s

  2. Yep, so now it’s official:

    CEO Dougie is buying 47 Boeing 787 Nightmareliners (that is, for the 85% who fly economy…aka the forgotten, abused and taken for granted folks without whom NO AIRLINE would exist for Dougie & Co. to pick-pocket millions off of…)…

    …and each of which will no doubt be tricked out with the much loathed, hated and reviled nine-abreast, teeny-tiny (child sized) 3-3-3 seats per in the economy section…

    ….which, of course, will probably just so happen to be further “densified” in kneecap bruising/crushing, no legroom 30”-31” pitch rows as the next tightening of the vise takes away yet another…one…two…three…inches of pitch per row to better cram even more teeny-tiny (child sized) seats into the same space…

    …or equally worse, as biz class seats further morph from the already ridiculous space hogging proportions that required the cramming, jamming, turns of the vise that brought on so much of the misery for those being forced into awkward, unwanted physical contact of all kinds now commonly experienced in sub-human…er…misery class…aboard most, and for sure that includes AA’s, 787s (or actually, in fact, virtually EVERY Nightmareliner except Japan Airlines’ 787s where EVERYONE gets to live/fly the dream, including those in the back half of that airline’s super comfy, EIGHT ABREAST, 2-4-2 seats that also…WAIT FOR IT…have 34” pitch rows in where…oh, right, COACH…ECONOMY…HUMAN class that really ARE “Dreamliners” for the rest of us who cannot possibly afford biz class, or even Premium Economy, but on this airline at least can instead park our adult sized butts for ten…12…14 hours) in the first place…

    …to the now practically tiny HOUSE sized “private suites” that are all the rage that are consuming EVEN MORE SPACE aboard the already space hogged/hoarded half of the plane already consumed by the impossible to please, space hogging, 15% divas who, with an arrogant sense of over-entitlement that would make even the infamous “Queen of Mean”, Leona Helmsley, blush with their “I can’t do without an NYC apartment/tiny house sized ‘private suite’ …with a tv screen larger than most desktop computer monitors, too, when I fly! Why should you?” that itself is the source of much miseries that the OTHER 85% have to literally absorb in their half, and still shrinking (practically to toddler sized) teeny tiny seats, sandwiched between ever more, no legroom rows…

    [sidebar: nb/Millennials: it’s a born before 1980 sorta thing that those from that era will likely remember as the over the top, so bad they’re good, ridiculous ads for Helmsley Hotels – especially the Palace where Leona proudly boasted how she lorded over her staff – where said “Queen” gushed “I just can’t do without a [phone, tv] in the bathroom! Why should you?” plus many other cringe worthy, stomach churning, tone deaf, haughty, ROFL, eye roll worthy, elitist rants that probably still exist somewhere for viewing on the “interweb”, or if not, for sure on the upper corners of the pages on any digitized [microfilm?] copies of the Sunday NY Times Magazine for most of the 1980s until whenever she got busted for tax evasion, went to jail, and her late husband’s, Harry, hotel/real estate empire began fading into the dustbin of history]

    …oh, and for those of you whom have yet to step aboard those misnamed (for coach/economy/“Y” pax) Dreamliners to personally experience what it’s like to attempt walking through the cramped back half (or less) of the 787 that is sub-human…er…misery class on ANY nine abreast, 3-3-3 overly densified, overcrowded economy cabin (EXCEPT, of course, Japan Airlines’ OG and truly for ALL PASSENGERS, its eight abreast 2-4-2 per 34” pitch row Dreamliners) you’re really living the dream while you’re attempting to walk pivoted/twisted SIDEWAYS through those super narrow aisles inflight and even then still bump into nearly every person on either, or BOTH, sides of the aisles!!!

    …and we’re talking toes, feet, shins, calves, hands, arms, elbows, shoulders…

    …even, yep, you gussed it, HEADS, that your’re doing your level best to avoid stumbling over, tripping over, accidentally kicking, grazing, bumping into, or even ocassionally smacking with all of the twisting, turning and pivoting you’ll be doing pretty much anytime in general, but especially on an overnight 11 hrs (or less/more) flight once the lights are turned down and everyone is both trying to find some position…ANY position…they might be able to relax enough to sleep in…

    …all while trying to avoid the seat in front of them that when reclined not only completely blocks access to the row/mini aisle for neighbors, but also is practically in their face…

    …and attempting to limit (since avoiding completely for most is out of the question…) the undesired physical contact from their neighbors who are worse off stuffed into middle seats and are also trying to minimize their discomfort aboard a Nightmareliner for 11 hours…

    I couldn’t believe just how many times no matter how hard I tried to tiptoe, while twisting, turning, pivoting left and right, to the point where I was literally shuffling slowly and turned sideways down those shamefully narrow aisles on two recent very long haul, overnight flights, and even still, how many feet, how many elbows, and even more than an occasional HEAD, were unintentionally kicked, bumped into, grazed…and like I said, impossible to even avoid smacking into while trying to dodge as many other passengers as possible…

    I was truly gobsmacked, and felt so bad since until this experience aboard the 787, I always made it a point to stretch out and walk laps after/before meal service while the aisles were…or rather, used to be…clear.

    Never before had I encountered this…in fact, on the Airbus A340s that were also flown long haul on this trip (3x), post meal laps were done WITHOUT any of the problems encountered on the two 787 flights…

    …indeed, those long in the tooth A340s were by far a “dream” in the economy section when compared to the newer 787 Nightmareliners and their teeny tiny (child sized) seats and those impossible to walk without bumping into others, pathetically narrow aisles.

    So, yeah, new though they may be, Dougie’s new 787s are DEFINITELY going to be anything but a dream for those 85% of us who will crowd into the mini seat, no legroom, rows where for sure CEO Dougie and his minions will rarely, or in Dougie’s case, NEVER, EVER been seen literally rubbing elbows, shoulders (or more 🙁 ) with the rest of us sub-humans stuck in sub-human class that is nightmare most of us will experience aboard these soon to arrive 47 Boeing 787 (so not) “Dreamliners”…

    Don’t get me wrong! It really is an amazing plane…when one is in the front half, that is…

  3. Sad to see the 767 going away. The 2x3x2 seating was perfect and there couldn’t find a way to cram in an extra seat! I remember when it made its debut how many years ago, the line was, “If you have a favorite plane, this one will take its place.” And the pilots unions went after it because it was a two-person cockpit. It was truly a transformational airplane.

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