signed its contract with Boeing in the late '90s, it was for full fleet replacement over 20 years, i.e., about 600 planes. Starting in '99, AA
has taken delivery of less than 200 aircraft, so AA
is still holding over 400 production slots over the next 15 years. There is no way AA
is going to buy any Airbus aircraft.
With regard to the MD
-80s, the oldest aircraft are 21 years old. A friend of mine, who is an AA
pilot, tells me that those planes have a lot of hours left on the airframes. But, an MD
-80 needs its C-checks more frequently than a 727-200. So, the maintenance needed at the next two or three C-checks will determine when the phased retirement starts. My friend guesses that it's at least 5 years before retirement starts, but there is no plan to keep them flying as long as NW
's DC-9 fleet.
At that point, you will probably see 737-700s and -800s being ordered.
As for the A300s, AA
loves the cargo capacity, and the plane is fairly inexpensive to operate. But those birds are very different from Boeing and McD planes and have been headaches for pilots and mechanics. So AA
's decision to start retiring them isn't a surprise
is very interested in the 7E7, but it's a question of economics. It's definitely the plane that will replace the 757s, 767s, and A300s. But the question is when will AA
be able to afford them. As for now, there are no plans to retire the 767-200ERs. They are needed to fly trans-con, and they could return to trans-Atlantic service, assuming that AA
first gets the 7E7-300.
All of this assumes that AA
can become profitable, to the point that it can make significant capital investments.