American Airlines have retired their Boeing 757 fleet.
They were nearing the end of their life anyway, but the ongoing worldwide situation expedited that process. Initially American Airlines said that their Boeing 757 fleet would be phased out between May 2020 and Summer 2021.
However, according to the following Tweet, this has been brought forward:
The final American 757 to take to the skies was N173AN, which was one of the more recent 757 builds out there. This particular aircraft made its first flight in February 2002, being delivered to American Airlines just under a month later.
In total, American Airlines operated 177 Boeing 757’s over the years. However, being of the previous generation, they were slowly but surely disappearing over the years. At the beginning of 2020, the airline had just 34 in service.
Whilst the aircraft had been used on a number of domestic missions over the years, more recently it had been used more on long thin international routes. At the end of their service, all but 10 American Airlines 757’s had an international cabin configuration.
After American Airlines merged with US Airways, a number of their 757’s were added to the fleet. These aircraft were the only members to retain a domestic cabin configuration. These featured 12 seats in first class and 164 in economy.
More Fleet Cuts At American To Come
As it stands, American will be reducing the older members of their fleet significantly. The bigger brother to the 757, the Boeing 767 has already been retired. This also came ahead of schedule.
In addition, the Airbus A330-300 fleet that was also inherited from the US Airways merger will also be sent into retirement.
The short haul fleet isn’t immune from the cuts either. A number of older Boeing 737-800’s will be retired. This is less likely to be due to the impact of the Coronavirus situation however. The 76 aircraft slated to go were delivered between 1999-2001, so nearing the end of their realistic operating lives anyway.
It will be interesting to see how American plan to replace their Boeing 757 fleet. The initial plan was to wait until the Airbus A321XLR came online. However, those won’t be delivered until 2023 at the earliest. And with demand for seats expected to be lower for the foreseeable future, American won’t have an aircraft with around 200 seats capable of longer missions. Domestically, the 757 retirement wont cause so much of a headache – the standard Airbus A321 had all but replaced the Boeing 757 there anyway.
The Future American Airlines Fleet
As of right now, by 2022 the American Airlines fleet will be much less diverse. Of course, anything here is subject to change over the coming weeks/months.
- Airbus A330-200
- Boeing 777-300ER
- Boeing 777-200ER
- Boeing 787-9
- Boeing 787-8
- Airbus A321
- Airbus A320
- Airbus A319
- Boeing 737-800
- Boeing 737-MAX8
I guess if any further cuts are needed fleet wise, the Boeing 777-200ER’s and Airbus A330-200’s are the ones that stick out. The 777’s are getting on in age, and the A330’s are the obvious oddball of the fleet, despite the oldest member only being 11 years old.
Shorthaul, again, the US Airways acquisitions stick out as the obvious candidates to get the chop. Along with more of the older Boeing 737-800’s.