American Airlines Defers Airbus A350 Deliveries Yet Again

Apr 27, 2017

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Airbus’ newest wide-body, the A350, is truly a masterpiece of modern aviation. As Airbus’ counter to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, there are a lot of shared features between the two aircraft — from aircraft size to passenger-friendly features like larger windows and better cabin pressure.

But if you’re an American Airlines flyer, you’re going to have to wait even longer to experience an A350. Last June, the carrier delayed delivery of its A350s from spring 2017 to late 2018. Today, American Airlines announced it’s further delaying delivery of these aircraft to “late 2020.” If it sticks with these new plans, American will take delivery of 22 aircraft from 2020 through 2024.

Mind you, this is an order originally placed in 2007 by US Airways. So, it’s not like airline management hasn’t have time to plan to integrate these into its fleet. AA management excuses the delay as an effort “to provide wide-body capacity flexibility.”

Airbus wasn’t the only one hit by these deferrals, but the hit to Boeing was much less severe. AA revealed that it also worked with Boeing to defer the delivery of two 787-9 aircraft from the second quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019.

Will we ever see these seats on an American Airlines A350?
Will we ever see these seats on an American Airlines A350?

Premium-cabin travelers have even more to bemoan over the delay of these aircraft. In addition to passenger-friendly features like larger windows and better pressurization, AA is planning on installing some of its best new seats on these A350s: from the same premium economy seats found on the Boeing 787-9 to the top-notch B/E Aerospace seats currently found in the new 777-200 retrofit and 787-9 business class.

This all leads to the question that one reporter asked outright: “Is there a place in your fleet for the A350?” — or is American Airlines just putting off the eventual order cancellation. AA’s management was firm that American Airlines is still going to get A350s; there’s “no consideration” to change the order to another Airbus aircraft type.

While we wait for American Airlines’ A350s to eventually materialize, you can take a look inside some other airlines’ A350s:

Featured image courtesy of Airbus

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