Wow, this topic is getting discussed almost as much at the NW DC-9 replacement. Every week this topic comes up, and all it is is rumors, rumors, rumors, and more speculation. Heck, the other week the rumor was that F-100's were all to be grounded next month....Where did that start??? Someone noticing AA was closing the heavy mx line for the F-100's, when the reason behind this was that AA received an extension on time before the F-100's undergo Heavy C checks.
Lets go over the facts:
Carty has prided AA on ALREADY reducing fleet types from 14 to 7 as a cost saving measure. That leaves the F-100, MD-80, 738, 757, 767, A300, & 777 fleets. Those gone are the 727, DC-10, MD-11, MD-90, MD-87, DC-9, & 717.
AA intends on keeping the F-100's until around 2010. The A300's will be around at least until the later part of the decade. They need those aircraft for the routes they fly. They need the A300's for MIA & SJU flying. The F-100's are needed for the 90-100 seat market. Otherwise, they have a huge gap between the CRJ & MD-80. Getting rid of mainline aircraft would play havoc with Eagle and the scope clause. Eagle can't grow until mainline grows.
AA is in no position to order anymore aircraft at this time, just look at their finanicals. They are not going to go out and start a fleet replacement. They have deffered ALL aircraft currently, receiving their last aircraft in May 2002 and no more deliveries until May 2003. AA still has an outstanding order for 738's, 763's, and 777's.
Phasing these types out over the next 5 years just doesn't seem likely with their financial position. Fleet rationalization only can go so far, they won't sacrifice their route network in the name of fleet commonality. These aren't small fleets either 74 F-100's and 34 A300's is a very sizable group of aircraft.
Once again, rumors galore.