N79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1128 times:
Why did American purchase these aircraft? They seem redundant to AA's fleet of 767s. I know they are used on flights to the Carribean and to LHR. The 767s are good for trans-Atlantic flying...how about for regional flights?
LMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1115 times:
American was the launch customer for the A300-600R. Being a "blue chip" airline and a launch customer they received a nice discount. I've also heard rumors of AA getting slots in Europe if they ordered the A300-600R. A300 are no longer used on flights to LHR. The 777 and 767 have taken it's place. The A300 are pretty such relegated flying East Coast to Caribbean routes. In fact AA does not even fly the A300 into DFW or ORD.
While the A300 is not very popular with M&E (maintenance & engineering) the bean counters like it because they got a good price and you can put a lot of cargo into the belly.
Flynavy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1073 times:
I am no expert, but yeah, AA operates the A300 on the Caribbean routes, but also domestically. For example, you can catch the A300 domestically on short hops in Florida, specifically MCO-MIA (which may be the only case). I think this is the only domestic route AA uses with the A300, but I could be wrong. Again, I'm not expert.
N79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1050 times:
Thanks for the replies. Another question occured to me. When Airbus delivered these aircraft, they were painted gray because Airbus did not use Alclad (aluminum alloy) that Boeing and MDD used. Now the A300s are polished. What happened and when?
Searpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4343 posts, RR: 12 Reply 13, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 900 times:
I remember the EA aircraft, they flew them from SEA to ATL in the mid 80s. Usually we saw the white ones, that invariably looked dirty, but also saw the grey and metal finishes too.
Interesting side not on the AA A300s. Back in the early 90s, when AA was going through another bad cycle, they were grounding aircraft (sound familiar?). AA announced that they would be grounding some wide-bodies. The decision was initially to return the A300s and keep flying the fleet of older, completely paid for, DC10s. Airbus came back with an offer that made it more economical to ground the fully paid for aircraft (the 10s) and keep flying (and paying for) the leased aircraft (the A300)!
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
AA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5383 posts, RR: 11 Reply 17, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 857 times:
As far as I remember, the only aircraft directly affected by 9-11 were:
MD-11- immediate retirement
727-223- greatly advanced retirement
717-231- moved retirement up to June this year (i.e. already occurred)
777- defer some deliveries
That's all I can remember.
I think the A300 will be around for a few more years, however will eventually be replaced as slow-to-move American realizes the benefits of fleet commonality.
PSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 6910 posts, RR: 29 Reply 21, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 807 times:
The A300's were delivered in the late 80's through the early-mid 90's. Initially an order for 25 was placed which were leased. AA got these aircraft at a nearly fire-sale price because Airbus was trying to make inroads with airlines in North American were at the time almost all Boeing and MDC customers. Crandell went to Airbus, along with Fokker to show Boeing & MDC they didn't have to buy from them and a corner of the orders for AA, and a way get more favorable prices. The first 25 A300's came with unbelievable lease terms favorable for AA. If AA was unsatisfied with the A300's, they could return them on 30 days notice at no cost.
The A300's were initially deployed on routes at AA's new and rapidly expanding MIA hub. They flew many Caribbean, SJU, and Central America routes, as well as routes up and down the East Coast. AA was so happy with the 25 A300's they had, so they went and ordered another 10 that they bought.
Around the time of the A300 came online AA was beginning to receive the new 767-300's, these were deployed on the expanding Trans-Atlantic network, especially after AA got TWA's LHR routes. The airline industry took a nose-dive in the early '90's, around the Gulf War time and the ensuing recession. AA was shedding capacity...727-100's were being retired....then there was the decision about the widebody fleet. The choice was to return the leased A300's or retire older DC-10's. The choice was very close in terms of the numbers, and a little persuading by Airbus helped the deal along. Airbus offered for the skin replacement on AA's A300's at no charge so the aircraft would now match the other silver birds of the fleet, instead of the composite gray. The earliest of the DC-10's were retired in the mid-90's lasting through until the end of 2000.
A300's took over DC-10 flying down in the Caribbean. As AA's Latin America market and Trans-Atlantic markets grew in the mid-90's, AA converted some A300's over to be used in 3-Class Trans-Atlantic configuration. These were the only aircraft besides the 777's to have PTV's. They flew routes such as JFK/EWR/BOS - LHR. Other than those few in 3-Class, the A300's were confined to SJU & MIA. They've flown MIA-Eastern Seaboard. SJU-Eastern Seaboard, and Caribbean & Latin America since. AA did fly A300's on MIA-ORD at some point in the mid-90's. I really don't know if they ever flew MIA-DFW or not. However, these aircraft have never been based out of ORD or DFW.
This past winter, the A300's were pulled from Trans-Atlantic service. Of course AA lost one A300 near JFK last November. The media incorrectly mis-intepreted the end of A300 Trans-Atlantic service due to Flight 587. This actually was a planned move. Earlier in 2001, AA placed an order for 15 new 767-300ER's. 9 were to replace TWA's hodge-podge fleet of 763's, and the remaining 7 were meant to replace AA's Trans-Atlantic A300's, with the A300's being reconfigured to 2-Class and deployed with the others out of AA. The rational behind this move was to provide a consistent Trans-Atlantic product of 767's & 777's and to also reduce the need for ordering additional narrowbody aircraft for MIA & Caribbean flying in order to use resources elsewhere. Due to the capacity reductions after 9/11, AA had enough available 767's & 777's to pull the A300's from Trans-Atlantic service even without the additional order of 763's that was to delivered beginning in summer of 2002, which has now been reduced to 9 and deferred until Summer 2003. It should be noted that AA is only flying 767-300's and 777's across the pond currently. The other logic behind this move was the removal of a fleet sub-type. Currently there are A300's out or service, stored in the desert out in Roswell, NM. These were some of the Trans-Atlantic A300's that will return to service when the capacity is needed.
AA has no plans of retiring the A300's anytime soon. They are currently between 9-14 years old. Since they are mostly medium haul aircraft, they don't get anywhere near the number of cycles that the narrowbodies get. They will be around likely through the end of the decade. As said before, their cargo capacity is a very important reason for their use. What they carry below deck is just as important as what is on top. The 767 doesn't even come close to matching the cargo capacity of the A300-600R.
PhilB From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 14 Reply 23, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 791 times:
Thanks for an accurate and well written piece. The only thing I'd take issue with is your contention that the A300s were reskinned.
The cost of this to Airbus, and the time taken, would have been prohibitive and the gaps in the fleet would have been untenable.
My understanding is that the special Airbus formulated paint was removed, the metal was given a thorough check for any corrossion (there wasn't any) and cracks and it was then polished with a special chemical to the usual AA standard. Coats of a gloss lacquer with a corrosion inhibitor to Airbus standards was then applied to give a much more pleasing appearance.
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 58 Reply 24, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 794 times:
American received all 35 of its A300s brand-new from the Airbus factory......Eastern flew the earlier version of the A300 (the A300B4 plus 2 A300B2s which flew the BOS-LGA shuttle for a while in the early 90s), some of the EA aircraft went to CO, remember that EA and CO were both owned by Texas Air at the time.
AA went with the A300 in a surprise move, no one was more surprised than Boeing. AA already operated the 762 and was looking for something bigger.....AA had requested certain design changes and modification to the 763 which Boeing would not agree to (as the story goes) and Airbus made a a good offer on its new and improved A300-600 and AA ordered 35 of the type; 34 are now in service, one was lost near JFK last year. Later on, AA did also buy the B763 for transatlantic routes.
In the early 1990s, during a recession period when the airlines including AA were having financial problems, AA seriously thought about returning its A300 fleet in favor of keeping DC10s in service, too cut its leasing costs, but rejected that plan when the lease rates and terms for several of the A300s were renegotiated. After the JFK crash, there was a lot of fuss about the A300s and taking them out of service, but nothing conclusive was established and the A300s remain in service.
If all goes according to plan, the A300s will be in service for many years to come, they are only in their "middle-age" of 13-15 years old and I do not think AA has even thought about a replacement type yet. The A300s are used on the highly-profitible Caribbean and medium-haul Latin American routes, along with some eastern seaboard flying up to JFK and BOS out of MIA, and are cash-cows......they really are ideal aircraft for the routes that they fly. I never understood why AA used the A300s for some BOS/EWR/JFK-LHR flights for a time, but they are great planes for the caib/latin american services.
What will replace the A300s ten years from now, maybe 777s, maybe 764s, maybe Boeing's replacement for the 757/767 lines, maybe something else, its too early to say? Anyway, after losing almost $500 million in the last quarter, AA is really not in the position to go out and buy new aircraft for a while.
25 Searpqx: AA took some of EA's 757s, but nothing else. I think, as the first North American operator of the A300, EA got a good deal on them, but I don't know t
26 Dutchjet: I do not think that AA took any of EA's 757s either, some of EA's 757s ended up with US Airways and others with America West, but not American. EA got
27 Searpqx: AA did get some of the 757. I went out to Alliance a couple of times when they came in for conversion. AA went after them specifically because of the
28 Dutchjet: Sorry, just checked the aircraft census and all of AA's 757s are 757-223 or 757-223 (ET) models, not a 757-225 on the list. The ex-TWA 757s are 757-23
29 Searpqx: Well, guess I was wrong. Thanks for checking.
30 Gr8SlvrFlt: Two Eastern 757s were sold to America West before Eastern ever took delivery then several more after the 1991 shutdown. Ten were sold to USAir before
31 Gr8SlvrFlt: P.S. - A bare metal Eastern A300 is a total surpise to me. Towards the end, the fleet was being repainted gray with wide stripes. They were also being
32 Gr8SlvrFlt: And another thing.....I was riding a hotel van in Boston last month with an American F/A who said since 587 the Airbus has gone very junior as many of