With fewer planes flying and planes flying near empty American Airlines is taking steps to retire less fuel efficient aircraft. Instead of paying to place planes in storage, American Airlines is accelerated the retirement of five aircraft types. Both wide-body and regional planes are being retired as American Airline bids farewell to both classic aircraft and some somewhat more modern ones.
As of now, American has officially retired the Embraer E190 and Boeing 767 fleets. Both of these aircraft were originally scheduled to retire by the end of 2020. Instead, American Airlines has retired them 8 months early. It was only a couple of years ago that American Airlines was refreshing the 767 fleet with lay-flat business class seats and extending the life of the planes while awaiting newer 787s. The airline has also accelerated the retirement of its Boeing 757s and Airbus A330-300s. Additionally, American is retiring 19 Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft operated by regional partner PSA Airlines.
By retiring the 757, American Airlines narrow body fleet now has just two aircraft types. The 737 and the A320 families. With only two cockpit types, mainline pilots can easily be scheduled on more routes without the cost of worry of cross-training. This also streamlines maintenance costs.
- Joined the US Airways fleet in 2000 prior to joining American’s fleet in 2013.
- Nine A330-300s in the fleet as of Jan. 1, 2020.
- Flew mainly trans-Atlantic routes, with some domestic service.
- Joined the America West fleet in 1987 and American in 1989.
- 34 757-200s in the fleet as of Jan. 1, 2020.
- Flew mostly mainland domestic and Hawaii routes, with some trans-Atlantic and Latin America service.
- Backbone of many fleets in the 90s!
- Joined American in 1988.
- 17 767-300ERs in the fleet as of Jan. 1, 2020.
- Flew mainly trans-Atlantic routes, with some domestic, Hawaii and Latin America service.
- Flew with Flagship first on Transcon routes between New York and Los Angeles or San Fran before the A321T
- Joined the US Airways fleet in 2006 prior to joining American’s fleet in 2013.
- 20 E190s in the fleet as of Jan. 1, 2020.
- Flew domestic routes, with extensive support for American Airlines Shuttle.
- Joined the PSA Airlines fleet in 2003.
- 19 CRJ200s in the fleet as of Jan. 1, 2020.
- Flew domestic routes on the East Coast, with service primarily from American’s hubs in Charlotte, North Carolina; Washington, D.C.; and Philadelphia.
An Early Retirement and Farewells
Overall, I am not surprise to see American Airlines retiring the 767 and 757s. These planes are fuel guzzlers and have flown for 20+ years. With more fuel efficient aircraft there are no need for these planes can easily hold 180-240+ people. The 757 is easily replaced by the 737 max 10 or A321-neo. The 767 has been phased out by many airlines for the more fuel efficient 787 or A350s. Although a new middle market aircraft has been considered by Boeing, due to the recent downturn, that’s highly unlikely any time soon. As American Airline bids these aircrafts farewell, we will still see them flying for years to come with different airlines.
When it comes to regional jets, I say good riddance to the crj-200! These planes are terrible to fly on. There are very small, no first class, and have limited space for bags. Even a backpack can barely fit in the overhead bins. I can’t think of a single person who will miss this plane! The E190 though is a bit more surprising as this aircraft is not that old. The E190 has larger bins, a first class, and feels more like a jet than a regional plane. I will miss this plane, but thankfully can still enjoy it on airlines such as Jetblue, or even it’s sibling the E175 when flying AA regionals partner. I think this had more to do with union concessions than anything.
What do you make of these retirements? Will you miss any of these aircraft variants?