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.