American Airlines won’t fly an Airbus A330 again for at least two years
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.
American Airlines is acknowledging the fact that international travel will be slow to return after the coronavirus pandemic with the decision to park the rest of its Airbus A330 fleet.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier will park its 15 A330-200s until at least 2022, American senior vice president of flight operations Kimball Stone told pilots in an internal message Wednesday that was viewed by TPG. The airline will close its only two A330 bases, in Charlotte (CLT) and Philadelphia (PHL), and re-train pilots certified on the type on other aircraft.
“Given the current depressed forecast for international demand and no opportunities to profitably use the fleet domestically, we have made the difficult decision to place all of our A330-200 aircraft in long-term storage,” he said.
American, like all carriers, expects to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis smaller than when it went in. Analysts at Cowen estimate that the airline may need to shed as many as 283 mainline jets if it shrinks by 30%.
The carrier has already retired four mainline aircraft types — A330-300s, Boeing 757s and 767s, and Embraer E190s — for a total of 80 planes. The decision to park the A330-200s raises the overall number to 95 jets.
“The whole point of simplifying fleets is to drive the cost structure [down] to where it needs to be,” American chief financial officer Derek Kerr said during the carrier’s first-quarter earning call on April 30. He warned that the A330-200s, as well as 42 older Boeing 737-800s, could also be on the chopping block.
Post-crisis, American’s wide-body long-haul fleet will consist entirely of Boeing 777s and 787s — half as many aircraft families as before.
Domestic travel is expected to resume before international travel once people feel safe flying again after the pandemic. This means airlines like American will need more of the narrow-body fleets — Airbus A321s and 737s for example — than wide-body fleets that fly long-haul routes over oceans.
American’s capacity cuts into June show this trend. International capacity will be down roughly 80% while U.S. will only be down 70%.
The airline recently delayed the resumption of certain international routes by a month. Flights to South America that were due to come back in May are now restarting in June, with other flights also delayed a month.
“We all expect the recovery will be slow and demand for air travel will be suppressed for quite some time,” said American CEO Doug Parker on April 30.
Featured image by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via 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