American Airlines’ Boeing 767s, 757s among 80 planes that won’t fly again after the pandemic
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Say “so long” to the Boeing 767s at American Airlines. And its 757s, too.
The early retirements were already acknowledged by the carrier, but now it is official that those planes have seen their last days carrying passengers for American.
Overall, the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier has retired 80 Airbus, Boeing and Embraer jets from its fleet as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a harsh toll on air travel. It has bid adieu to not only its 767s and 757s, but also to its Airbus A330-300s and Embraer E190s, American said Thursday. All four types are already parked and will not return to passenger service.
In addition, American is also removing 41 older small regional jets from its feeder fleet. All 19 of its Bombardier CRJ200s are gone, and it is retiring 22 of its 46 Embraer ERJ-140s.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Ned Russell (@airbus777) on
“The whole point of simplifying fleets is to drive the cost structure [down] to where it needs to be,” said American chief financial officer Derek Kerr during the carrier’s first quarter earning call on Thursday.
The airline reported a $2.9 billion pre-tax loss, or a $2.2 billion net loss, during the three months ending in March. Passenger traffic fell by nearly 18% year-over-year, while the total number of passengers carried dropped by nearly 16%.
Airlines around the globe face an unprecedented cash crunch amid the pandemic. Faced with near zero revenues, carriers are digging into their reserves to pay aircraft mortgages and other fixed costs while they cut capacity and — at least outside of the U.S. — furlough tens of thousands of staff.
The latest data from trade organization Airlines for America (A4A) shows flights in the U.S. carried an average of just 17 people during the week ending April 28. Demand for future travel, measured by new bookings minus refunds, was down 97% year-over-year during the week ending April 19.
Cutting costs is the name of the game for American management during the pandemic. In addition to the fleet changes and related capacity cuts, nearly 39,000 of the airline’s staff have taken early retirement packages, unpaid leave or have reduced their hours.
American has also accepted $5.8 billion in payroll assistance from the federal government, which will cover staff compensation and benefits through at least Sept. 30.
Still, American is burning an average of $70 million in cash daily. The carrier aims to slow the bleeding to just $50 million a day by June.
Other airlines face the same dire circumstances. Delta Air Lines also hopes to cut its cash burn to about $50 million a day by May, while Southwest Airlines hopes to staunch it to just $30 million to $35 million a day.
American may cull its fleet further. It is considering retiring older models of the plane types it plans to keep around, which could affect some Airbus A320s and 42 Boeing 737-800s, said Kerr. The airline may also remove its 15 Airbus A330-200s, however, these aircraft are younger and mortgaged complicating any potential retirement decision.
The carrier is moving forward with work adding seats to many of its Airbus A321s and 737-800s, even with its post-pandemic fleet in flux. The effort, dubbed “Project Oasis,” adds up to nine seats for 190 to the A321s, and 12 seats for 172 to the 737s.
“We all expect the recovery will be slow and the demand for air travel will be depressed for some time,” said American CEO Doug Parker during the call. “Difficult decisions lie ahead of all of us.”
Featured image by Juha Remes / Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees