American Airlines hosts a ‘state of the airline’ event for employees after its earnings calls. There senior management shares their vision for the company and employees can ask questions. In addition to those questions that are asked live, there are followup questions that get asked – and answered – in writing.
The airline has shared written responses to several employee questions, and some of those contained information I did not know (although in some cases may have assumed).
- The Airbus A321neo will go into service April 2, and will be based at LAX and Phoenix. It will begin flying to Hawaii in September.
- American “may[..] at some point in the future” serve Helsinki, home base of their transatlantic joint venture partner Finnair.
- Orlando gets Airbus A319s because even though the market supports larger aircraft they’re doing maintenance there for that fleet type.
- Increased Canada flying has been a mixed bag for American but Chicago – Calgary performs especially well. They aren’t dropping any Canada routes at this time.
- They do not intend to replace the hated ‘Concept D’ business class seats on Boeing 787-8 and some Boeing 777-200 aircraft. (The decade-old Airbus A330 seats, which were ahead of their time when installed by US Airways, badly need replacing as well.)
- One brave employee asked why American continues to roll out their Boeing 737 MAX interior — with less distance between seats (including less legroom in first class and Main Cabin Extra), less recline, no seat back video, and tiny lavatories — when customers and employees hate it so much?
American says that customers don’t hate it any more than current Boeing 737-800s (“customer satisfaction scores..are similar”). Customers don’t love flying coach on American either way, it seems, and there’s no effort to improve customer satisfaction. Instead American says their business is packing more people into planes,
The additional seats on the plane are going to help us take more people where they want to go – and that’s the business we’re in.
- “There is a chance is could make sense” to retrofit Boeing 737-800 aircraft with scimitar winglets.
- Current status of updating narrowbody planes to offer high speed satellite internet: