The future of American Airlines‘ long-haul fleet just got a little fuzzier. The carrier published a fleet plan through 2020 as part of today’s earnings call and it shows a net drop of 9 A330-300s by year-end 2019 and nothing to replace them until maybe the A350s start being delivered in 2020. That’s a maybe because the company has deferred the A350 order a couple times already, but also because during the call management raised the idea of maybe changing it again.
Early in the Q&A session President Robert Isom suggested that “We’re working with Airbus and Boeing on other widebody options and we’ll see where we go,” opening the door for other twin-aisle aircraft deliveries in the intervening years.
"You see the A350s coming in in 2020, those are currently set to replace A330-300s and other widebodies… We're working with Airbus and Boeing on other widebody options and we'll see where we go," says $AAL Isom
— Edward Russell (@e_russell) January 25, 2018
Later in the call he doubled down, noting that “We haven’t made a decision yet.” In addition to that A350-900 the company is also considering the A330neo and the 787-9.
Given that the existing 787 fleet is larger than the A330 fleet the potential for further growth there is interesting. The efficiency of scale on that side could be beneficial to the company, if not necessarily as comfortable for economy class passengers.
— Seth Miller (@WandrMe) January 25, 2018
Certainly both Airbus and Boeing are keen to secure the additional wide body orders. That makes American’s position a pretty nice one in the next couple years as it figures out what to do with the fleet.
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