N79969
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History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 2:10 am

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?

Where else does AA operate their 300s?

I did a search and could not find this dicussion.

Thanks.
 
LMP737
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 2:22 am

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.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
N79969
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 2:46 am

I have heard that AA plans to retire their A300 fleet. Are they going to FedEx? Or are these aircraft going back to a lessor?
 
flynavy
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 2:57 am

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.


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I hope this helps.

Chris at MCO
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spinkid
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 3:00 am

I believe it is also used on JFK-MIA then continuing on the carribbean.

 
N79969
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 3:06 am

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?
 
LMP737
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 4:01 am

Flynavy is correct, AA flies the A300 from MIA-MCO Flight 440 and Flight 1291 MCO-MIA. In addition there's the JFK-MIA Flight 881 like Spinkid said.

AA took delivery of the A300 painted. Soon after M&E came up with program to strip the paint and polish it out. From guys I know who have worked on them they say it looks like a disco ball.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
mf3864
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 4:07 am

so are they metal? or all composite? i have flown AA's A300's from BOS to LGW, BOS to MIA, BOS to LAX. nice ride overall. but, to the untrained eye, the interior much like a 767.
 
N79969
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 4:29 am

The fuselage is aluminum. The vert stabilizer and some of the control surfaces are composite however. I'm not sure which ones though.
 
dragon-wings
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 4:44 am

When does American plan on retiring the A300's?
Don't give up don't ever give up - Jim Valvano
 
philb
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 5:07 am

The A300s were painted grey because Airbus had designed the aircraft to be painted overall with a special low weight paint designed to give added durability and extended corrosion protection.

Eventually, Airbus, AA and a manufacturer of aircraft finishes came out with a polish to match the added protection of the original paint.

The Eastern A300s were similarly painted (which ended up with some horrendous "grey whales") but there was at least one A300 which ended up in a natural scheme before Eastern went under.
 
LMP737
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 5:24 am

There seems to be no talk of retiring the A300 any time soon. If I were to guess I would say between 2010-2015.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
AA767400
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 5:29 am

AA works the bus on these current routes:

JFK-SDQ
JFK-SJU
JFK-AUA
JFK-MIA
JFK-POP
JFK-STI
JFK-PAP

MIA-SJU
MIA-SDQ
MIA-PAP
MIA-MBJ
MIA-BOG
MIA-EWR
MIA-GYE
MIA-MCO
MIA-MEX
MIA-SJO

SJU-MCO
SJU-BOS
SJU-SDQ

and that would be pretty much it. but I really don't know what the
future holds for the A300.
"The low fares airline."
 
searpqx
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 5:30 am

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"
 
dc10hound
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 5:34 am

I have heard that AA plans to retire their A300 fleet. Are they going to FedEx? Or are these aircraft going back to a lessor?

Aircraft 050-052,054-074 are leased. Ships 075-080 are owned (mortgaged) by AA.
"Eagles soar. But weasels never get sucked into jet intakes.."
 
dc10hound
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 5:38 am

Aircraft 050-052,054-074 are leased. Ships 075-080 are owned (mortgaged) by AA.

Oops...I meant: Ships 075-084 are owned (mortgaged) by AA
"Eagles soar. But weasels never get sucked into jet intakes.."
 
N79969
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 5:40 am

I guess I heard wrong about the A300s then. Or I heard something before 9/11. They might as well keep them around. They are pretty new aircraft.
 
AA737-823
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 6:08 am

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.

Randy
 
flyboy36y
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 6:10 am

I flew an A300 on AA from MIA-JFK
 
BR715-A1-30
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 6:48 am

Good for you FlyBoy36y... Yeah sure

Didn't AA get some of their A300s from Eastern after they folded? I thought I remember hearing this. Or is it that Eastern got their A300s for Free? Which one is it?
Puhdiddle
 
DIA
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 6:54 am

The way I remember it, Continental took over all of Easterns A300s; based them out of Denver, Newark, and Houston.
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 6:58 am

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.
 
flyboy36y
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 6:59 am

Good for you FlyBoy36y...

Good for you Flight Level.
 
philb
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 7:08 am

PSU.DTW.SCE,

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
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 7:09 am

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.

 
searpqx
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 7:15 am

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 the details.
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
dutchjet
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 7:23 am

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 an amazing deal on its A300s - the first four were "given" to EA to try out for a few months while it made its decision. But that is a whole other story, and during a different time when no one took Airbus seriously and Airbus was having difficulty selling its one type of aircraft, the A300, to anyone. A very long time ago!
 
searpqx
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 7:59 am

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 RR engines.
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
dutchjet
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 8:14 am

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 757-231s or 757-2Q8, again no 757-225s.
 
searpqx
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 8:35 am

Well, guess I was wrong. Thanks for checking.
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
gr8slvrflt
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 8:56 am

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 the final shutdown. Also, Midway took a number of DC-9-30s when they bought the Philadelphia hub. Continental took six A300s early on (along with two DC-10s) and many more later. After Eastern's demise, Delta took L-1011s and 727s; Northwest: DC-9s and 727s; TWA: DC-9s. Smaller numbers of 727s and L-1011s went all over the world. Surprisingly the 757s and A300s, the newest planes in the fleet, seemed to have the hardest time finding new owners.
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
 
gr8slvrflt
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 8:58 am

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 outfitted with 48 F/C seats.
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
 
gr8slvrflt
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RE: History Of American A300s

Thu Jul 18, 2002 9:03 am

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 them are afraid of it. This is only one person's opinion but she said they were very unsafe and hinted of a huge cover-up of the crash details!
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.

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