American Airlines has ordered 47 Boeing 787s. 22 Boeing 787-8s will replace their 24 Boeing 767s, and 25 Boeing 787-9s will replace their 15 Airbus A330-300s and older 777-200s.
American has also officially terminated their order for 22 Airbus A350s and deferred delivery of 40 Boeing 737 MAXs.
American does more, I think, than other airlines to educate their employees about the decisions they’re making — whether through regular off the record town halls (which have fortunately survived my leaks) or through videos and podcasts that are published both on their internet ‘Jetnet’ system and made publicly available through iTunes and Soundcloud.
American’s CFO recorded a podcast to talk about the reasons for the big Boeing order.
Derek Kerr explains why they terminated their Airbus A350 order. It would have been a new aircraft type for their fleet, and American is on a strong push to simplify the fleet with fewer types of planes and fewer subfleets. So the A350 just didn’t make sense.
They needed to decide whether to invest $15 million into each Boeing 767 and keep it around another 6-7 years or replace them sooner.
Overall though this means keeping 767s in their current ratty state longer rather than investing in them. That’s bad for passenger experience in terms of the condition of the planes. And replacing them is bad for passenger experience in that there’s just more room in coach than on American’s other widebodies. The 767s will be gone by 2022.
American has 76 Boeing 737-800 ‘Classics’ that were delivered between 1999 and 2001. Last month we learned that American planned to retire 45 of them over the next two years. Deferring 40 737 MAX deliveries to 2025 – 2026 means that 737 classics will fly longer in the fleet, that they’ll go through the interior conversion program to get the same densified seating (project ‘Oasis’) and smushed lavatories as the 737 MAX.
Overall by removing orders off their books and deferring delivery of some planes they’re substantially reducing and putting off planned capital outlays that offset some of the cost of these new 787s which help them simplify their fleet. Of course since no one expected they’d actually ever take delivery of the A350s in the first place I’m not sure it’s fair to call terminating that order an offset.