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American Considers Dropping Order for A350s in Favor of A330NEOs or B787-9s

Will American take its delivery of A350s? Photo Finnair, Airbus A350-900 OH-LWC NRT Author Masakatsu Ukon (CC BY-SA 2.0)

American Airlines is apparently still deciding whether it will still take its order of twenty two A350-900s scheduled for 2020 or drop it completely in favor of A330-900s or B787-9s. American CFO Derek Kerr told analysts on the quarterly conference call, “The A350 … does add complexity to our fleet by a new aircraft type. So it’s not about the aircraft, it’s about the complexity that it brings to our operating group for having more aircraft. So we haven’t made a determination yet.”

The A350-900s are supposed to replace the airline’s fleet of A330s. It is now operating fifteen A330-200s and nine A330-300s. Twenty-three B767-300(ER)s, forty-seven B777-200(ER)s, twenty B777-300(ER)s, twenty B787-8s, and fourteen B787-9s round out American’s wide-body segment, according to www.aa.com.

Retirement plans still on track

By the end of 2019, the carrier also plans to retire all twenty of it’s thirty-five MD-83s, ten MD-82s, and twenty EMB-190s.

During the earnings announcement, Mr. Kerr emphasized that American has plenty of time to decide on the A350s since the delivery is not set for another year or two. But analysts continue to push for details that the company’s management seems hesitant or unable to provide right now.

The A350 order was actually inherited from American’s merger with US Airways in 2013 and has been deferred a couple of times, first from 2017 to 2018, then it was pushed out further to 2020. But lately it appears questionable if the airline will actually take the A350 deliveries at all.

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Kim Clark

Written by Kim Clark

Former CNN Radio News Network anchor Kim Clark is a freelance writer and editor, specializing in the aviation industry and financial markets. She currently freelances for S&P Global and works as a club and event Disc Jockey in Atlanta, Georgia, after having held positions doing news on radio morning shows and holding down the position of Music Director of commercial radio stations owned by Cumulus and Clear Channel.

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