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American Airlines retires its last Airbus A330, goes all-Boeing for wide-body jets

Oct. 22, 2020
3 min read
American Airlines retires its last Airbus A330, goes all-Boeing for wide-body jets
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The changes to American Airlines fleet continue as the coronavirus pandemic resets flying.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier has retired its 15 Airbus A330-200s, officially making it an all-Boeing wide-body operator of 777s and 787s, American said Thursday. The A330s have been in long-term storage since May.

The move brings the number of jets retired by American to 114 during the pandemic. Gone are its Airbus A330s — both the -200s and -300s — Boeing 757s and 767s and Embraer E190s, as well as the Bombardier CRJ200s flown by its regional affiliates.

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"We now only have for aircraft types in our mainline fleet," said American chief financial officer Derek Kerr during a quarterly earnings call on Thursday. "The operating efficiencies on the crew, maintenance and schedule are permanent."

Kerr added that the aircraft retirements "accelerated" the airline's long-term fleet plans. American's mainline operations now consist of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 family narrow-bodies and 777 and 787 family wide-bodies.

In a report Thursday, Raymond James analyst Savanthi Syth estimated that American has removed roughly 10% of the seats it flew in 2019 with the A330 retirements. Delta Air Lines has removed roughly 22% of 2019 seats and United Airlines none having not officially retired any jets.

Related: American Airlines won’t fly an Airbus A330 again for at least two years

American is due to take delivery of around 39 new mainline jets in 2021 after reaching an agreement with Boeing to defer up to eight 737 MAX deliveries. The new planes include 16 A321neos, 10 737 MAX 8s and 13 787s. All of the new aircraft have financing commitments in place, Kerr said.

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The fleet changes come as American posted a $2.4 billion net loss in the third quarter. The critical cash burn measure — or how much it loses on a daily basis — averaged $44 million a day during the three months ending in September.

The airline's daily losses are far higher than those at its competitors. Southwest Airlines achieved a burn of just $16 million a day, Delta Air Lines $24 million and United Airlines $21 million in the third quarter. However, each airline calculates the burn rate differently making direct comparisons difficult.

American hopes to reduce daily cash burn to $25 million to $30 million in the fourth quarter that ends in December.

Related: Airlines expect a post-coronavirus boom in leisure travel, they just don’t know when

Featured image by NurPhoto via Getty Images

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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023