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.