AA plans 767 retirement from about 2015–does this mean 787 order will finally be firmed up soon?

American Airlines announced that it plans to retrofit Boeing 777-200s and half its Boeing 767-300ER fleet with lie-flat business class seats as a means to upgrade its international service. AA also announced that it plans to retrofit only half of the 767 fleet and retire the rest.

IAM 751 Tweets that the retirement will start about 2015.

Does this mean American is preparing to at long last firm up its MOU for up to 100 Boeing 787s? The MOU was made several years ago, but was never firmed pending resolution of pilot contract negotiations. This, of course, hasn’t happened, and now in bankruptcy, American is moving under Section 1113 of the bankruptcy code to void the contract (and other labor agreements) and to impose its own terms.

This fleet upgrade and retirement announced suggests to us that American might be nearing a resolution (under 1113 if nowhere else) that will lead to firming up the 787 order.

No wonder Jim McNerney favors an American solution to a US Airways merger.

15 Comments on “AA plans 767 retirement from about 2015–does this mean 787 order will finally be firmed up soon?

  1. Can they commit to more debt while still in bankruptcy? Firming up the B-787 order means they also must place deposits down to make it a contract. That is unless Boeing is willing to forgo deposits from AA until after they exit from Bankruptcy. Also can they get production slots for deliveries to begin in 2016, or do they already have those slots firmed up from their MOU?

    • The bankruptcy court can approve the contract.

      AA has had delivery positions identified since the MOU.

      Boeing can agree with AA to whatever deposits Boeing wants.

  2. I believe the A321 NEO order was intended to replace the 757s and part of the 767 fleet. That would be consistent with the announcement above.

  3. Sorry to change the subjct ‘A Russian Sukhoi super jet with a loss of 50 in Indonesia just seen the report on yahoo.

  4. What about a bunch of A332’s ?
    (If they merger with US)

  5. During the order announcement last year, AA said A321s would replace 757 and 767-200s. The first will arrive next year.

    • Except they are not currently listed in Airbus’ backlog, so that prediction of next year is rather doubtful. Given lead times the deliveries for next year are quite well known in Airbus and their suppliers. If AA were to be in that list it would have had to report to the Judge overseeing the bankruptcy, which they haven’t.

  6. Refurbish LR means to me that AA will wait and see on the 787 or A350 down the road as they roll out. Of course since all Airbus fly from basically the same cockpit they may be in a changeover to all Airbus, may be?

    • I don’t see AA ordering the A-350 to replace their B-767-300ERs. They have an MOU with Boeing for the B-787, and that is a better match for the B-767 than the A-350 is. Additionally, AA wants to begin retiring the B-767s in just 3 years from now. Chances are they already have B-787 production slots locked up due to the MOU. An A-350 order now would mean delivery of the first one sometime after 2018, or so. Airbus is not about to PO any A-350 customers now by moving their production slots to a later time just so they can give AA earlier slots. Also, AA is taking deliveries of the first B-77W soon, IIRC they have about 6 of them on order, and probably more to order soon. So there would be no need for the A-350.

      Steen Folder Pedersen, the same with any order for the A-330. AA already has the B-787 and more B-777s on order, they don’t need the A-330. Also, AA and US are not merged, yet, and I’m not sure it is going to happen. AA’s management and stockholders will call those shots, so no agreement US may have with AA’s unions means anything.

  7. From the AA website:


    “Other Fleet Renewal Efforts In Progress
    These new agreements are in addition to American’s other anticipated fleet orders and renewal efforts underway including:

    10 Boeing 777-300ER widebody aircraft planned for delivery beginning in November 2012 through 2013, Six 777-200 widebody aircraft planned for delivery in 2014 through 2016
    42 state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliners anticipated for arrival beginning in late 2014”

    The “Other” anticipated fleet orders… Are the NB orders from Airbus and Boeing.

    • Also remember that AA’s MOU was for 42 firm and 58 options. = 100 787’s

  8. Question: Why spend a Billion dollars to upgrade LR aircraft if you are going to order new one’s in the near future? And one last comment, as one who had a part in the redesigned the 737 to what it is today, I will believe the 737 MAX when I see it.

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