American 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4462 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (15 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 743 times:
Yes, American DID have 747's in the past (100's and SP's) but now they don't have anymore. American was an early operator of the 747 back in 1970. They had a total of 16 747-100's which were flown on domestic routes and some flights flights to Mexico, in fact they had a bad experience with the 747 in the 1970's because they were burning a lot of fuel and the load factor on that aircraft wasn't high enough to be profitable, and with the oil crisis in the 1970's the fuel cost was increasing dramatically. The only flight that was profitable for American with the 747 was JFK-LAX because the load factor has always been pretty hign on that one. So the 747 was becoming a huge albatross on their network and American phased them out in the early 1980's in favor of more DC-10's (American was the launch customer for the type) which came from Pan Am. At that time American had no flight across the Atlantic, Pan Am was strong across the Atlantic. American's 747-100's went to Pan Am (I believe two of them were sold to NASA) and Pan Am's DC-10's went to American. So in the middle of the 1980's, American had a strong fleet of Boeing 727's and DC-10's, and they were taking delivery of the 767. It was the beginning of the 767, the 767 was at that time an all new aircraft. The 747-100's were gone.
In 1986, American acquired two Boeing 747-SP31's from TWA. They were put on the daily Dallas-Tokyo flight which was just started, it was at that time American's only flight across the Pacific. Those were flown on that flight until 1991 when the MD-11 came out. As the MD-11 was put on transpacific flights to Tokyo out of Dallas, San Jose and Seattle (a flight that Continental used to have), the two SP's were put on the New York JFK-Brussels flight for one year until their retirement. So the two SP's were retired in 1992 and the 767 was put back on the JFK-BRU flight. American has not operated any 747 at all since then, they are choosing instead 777's for their very long flights. Why doesn't American have any 747's? Because they don't need such a hign capacity aircraft for the network that they have. It's normal that Northwest and United have many 747s, because they have a much stonger network in the Pacific Rim than American has. The 747 at American is history.