September 4, 2018
In an internal memo, American Airlines (AA) confirmed that its fleet of 23 Boeing 767-300(ER)s will be phased out in 2021.
Ryan Travis, Managing Director of Fleet Planning at AA, confirmed that “The 767 will retire in early 2021 as new 787s arrive.”
Currently, AA operates 23 767-300(ER)s, the oldest being delivered back in 1993. The current average age of the 767 fleet is 20 years.
American Airlines deploys these planes on long-haul transatlantic routes, as well as to South America and some domestic destinations.
Just recently, the airline announced a major European expansion from Philadelphia, boosted by the 767-300(ER) fleet. The airline will be flying to Edinburgh (EDI), Berlin-Tegel (TXL), Bologna (BLQ), and Dubrovnik (DBV).
Each plane is configured with 28 Business Class, 14 Main Cabin Extra, and 163 Economy Class seats.
At one point, AA operated a fleet of 67 Boeing 767-300(ER)s. However, as the airline began taking delivery of its newer 787-8/-9 Dreamliners, the oldest 767s were effectively retired.
The first Boeing 767-300(ER) that American Airlines retired was N351AA, delivered in 1988.
Of all the retired 767s, only one has been written off. The aircraft suffered an incident when operating flight AA383 to Miami, catching fire on runway 28R at Chicago O’Hare International Airport after aborting its take-off.
The airline reported the rejected take-off was executed due to an engine-related issue. 161 passengers and nine crew were rapidly evacuated via slides and bused to the terminal.
The final report from the NTSB stated that the right engine number 2 stage high-pressure turbine (HPT) disk failed and fractured into at least four pieces. A large disk fragment landed in a UPS warehouse located about 2,920 feet (890m) from the aircraft.
OTHER FLEET RETIREMENTS, ARRIVALS
Ryan Travis also mentioned that the final batch of MD-80s “are due to retire next year.”
American Airlines will phase out its fleet of 20 Embraer E190s in 2020. These regional jets, which are only 10.9 years old, are likely to find an operator.
Moreover, Travis confirmed that the airline’s first Airbus A321neos are due arrive “early next year.”
“Our first A321neo arrives early next year and deliveries continue through 2024,” he said.
As far as the Boeing 737 MAX 8 deliveries are concerned, Travis notes that the airline has received 13 planes so far, and will continue to receive more through to 2021, and then resuming in 2025 and 2026.
“We have orders for 100 of each of those two aircraft types,” he said, referring to the A321neo and the 737 MAX 8.
At last, Travis confirmed that AA will operate a fleet of 89 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and that it will continue to evaluate new aircraft types like the 777-8/-9X.