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American Airlines 2019-2021 Fleet Plan Update (24 Jan 2019)

American Airlines 2019-2021 Fleet Plan Update (24 Jan 2019)

Old Jan 24, 19, 9:14 am
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American Airlines 2019-2021 Fleet Plan Update (24 Jan 2019)

American just released its annual fleet plan update this morning. Looks like the MD80 will finally exit the fleet this year and all of the 767-300s will be gone by 2021 thanks to the new 787 order. They are taking 9 767s out of the fleet this year but only adding 2 787-9s. Interesting that the 330-300 is now still in the fleet in 2021 whereas last year they had it gone by 2020. 321neo and 737 MAX ramps have also been slowed somewhat. Retiring 10 757s this year, but still show 24 in 2021. I wouldn't be surprised to see AA replace those 24 with Boeing's MMA (if it launches!).

On the regional side they are adding more E175s while retiring more of the 140s relative to 2018.

Here is the commentary AA had with the release:
  • In 2019, the company expects to take delivery of 46 mainline aircraft comprised of 17 A321neo aircraft, 20 B738 MAX aircraft, 2 B789 aircraft and 7 used A319 aircraft. The company also expects to retire 55 mainline aircraft, including 10 B757 aircraft, 9 B763 aircraft, 6 E190 aircraft and 30 MD80 aircraft.
  • In 2019, the company expects to increase the regional fleet count by a net of 12 aircraft, resulting from the addition of 11 CRJ900 aircraft and 20 E175 aircraft, as well as the reduction of 14 CRJ200 aircraft and 5 ERJ140 aircraft.






For reference below is the one they released in January 2018:

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Old Jan 24, 19, 9:48 am
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Doubling of the 7M8
Reduction of the CR2
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Old Jan 24, 19, 10:09 am
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Keeping the 333 around until 2021 now? I wonder if PE is in the future for those 9?
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Old Jan 24, 19, 10:15 am
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On the RJ side of things, I am a bit surprised there are no changes/reductions in the E145 fleet, but I guess that is offset by the reduction in the CRJ-200's.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 10:18 am
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I wonder if the A333 will get a further refurb and Premium Economy cabin now? They got new seat covers and carpets/bulkheads in the past year and a bit which helped, but still...
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Old Jan 24, 19, 10:20 am
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So the MD80s are definitely out the door by year. All 763s by next year end, I think it had been 2021. There's a thread on airliners.net that there will be a mass retirement of the MD80s at summer's end.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 12:46 pm
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Are the 10 departing 757s the legacy US Hawaii aircraft, leaving only legacy AA 757s in the fleet after 2019?
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Old Jan 24, 19, 1:01 pm
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What I find somewhat disappointing is that there seems to very little interest by AA to expand Int'l long haul capacity. Of course those planes are the most expensive to acquire and operate, but it is somewhat indicative that AA doesn't think it is very competitive in the overall int'l market.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 1:31 pm
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Originally Posted by teemuflyer View Post
What I find somewhat disappointing is that there seems to very little interest by AA to expand Int'l long haul capacity. Of course those planes are the most expensive to acquire and operate, but it is somewhat indicative that AA doesn't think it is very competitive in the overall int'l market.
They're ripping out J seats from longhaul planes and flying 787s to CUN and ANC, and degrading their domestic experience fleetwide in F/extra legroom/Y. Seems pretty indicative to me of what they think of longhaul flying and where they want to go: cut costs and ram as many passengers in on cheap tickets as they can, because they can't generate premium revenue that supports larger J cabins or anything but a NK/G4 experience in the back of the plane.

It's the same playbook US ran. They got by scraping the bottom of the barrel, AA will too.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 1:50 pm
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Looks like flying domestic, A321 or 737 will be the routine and they are reconfiguring to tighter pitch aren't they? Whatever reason I thought there going to be a lot more A321neo and 737MAX, but still many A321 and 737 are relatively new that no plan to get rid of A321 and 737, hence they do not need that many A321neo and 737MAX? Wonder if they will announce the last revenue flight of MD80 and have some event for that,
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Old Jan 24, 19, 2:04 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
They're ripping out J seats from longhaul planes and flying 787s to CUN and ANC, and degrading their domestic experience fleetwide in F/extra legroom/Y. Seems pretty indicative to me of what they think of longhaul flying and where they want to go: cut costs and ram as many passengers in on cheap tickets as they can, because they can't generate premium revenue that supports larger J cabins or anything but a NK/G4 experience in the back of the plane.

It's the same playbook US ran. They got by scraping the bottom of the barrel, AA will too.
AA definitely has its issues (Project Oasis and the 737 Max come to mind) but I think it's unfair to say that they aren't interested in investing in premium long haul. They are the only US carrier flying a 4 class aircraft (77W), they are investing a lot of in the Flagship Lounge/Check-In facilities, lots of new planes with a great all-aisle hard product on almost all widebodies now, have the 321T special configurations for the coast to coast routes, have the CK program, private gate to gate transfers etc.

So given all this I don't think they are abandoning the premium long-haul but quite the contrary they are investing heavily in it. The problem for AA (and DL and UAL for the matter) is that they are all trying to compete with the LCCs while at the same time build and maintain their premium traffic/brand. It remains to be seen whether this "segmentation" strategy will ultimately be successful in stopping the LCCs but from a passenger's perspective I appreciate the significant investments they have made in their long-haul fleet and passenger experience in the last few years. As you point out, the domestic experience seems to be getting worse from a seat pitch perspective, but improvements in IFE and high-speed internet somewhat offset that from my perspective.

In any case, I for one appreciate AA's continued investment in its fleet even though there are a lot of people on Wall Street that think they are over doing it.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 2:07 pm
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And, they’re chomping at the bit to add Australia flights as soon as JBV approved— this is common knowledge.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by AlwaysAisle View Post
Looks like flying domestic, A321 or 737 will be the routine and they are reconfiguring to tighter pitch aren't they? Whatever reason I thought there going to be a lot more A321neo and 737MAX, but still many A321 and 737 are relatively new that no plan to get rid of A321 and 737, hence they do not need that many A321neo and 737MAX? Wonder if they will announce the last revenue flight of MD80 and have some event for that,
The stated goal of Project Oasis (AA's "densification" project) is to reconfigure all the existing 737s and 321s with MAX like pitches with common cabin configurations making the planes A) more profitable and B) easier to swap out for IRROPS. I believe the re-configurations of existing 737s and 321 are supposed to start in earnest this year.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by BillBurn View Post
In any case, I for one appreciate AA's continued investment in its fleet even though there are a lot of people on Wall Street that think they are over doing it.
See the CapEx forecast. Fleet investments are dropping sharply for 2020, and sharply yet again for 2021. Negative free cash flow (it looks like four years of the last six) has a way of catching up with you.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
See the CapEx forecast. Fleet investments are dropping sharply for 2020, and sharply yet again for 2021. Negative free cash flow (it looks like four years of the last six) has a way of catching up with you.
Net capEx is declining but remember that's a net number after the financing of new planes and most of the cost of the new planes is being financed. New plane deliveries are still pretty high thanks to the 737MAX and 321neo deliveries.
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