If I were still employed I would be very upset at management for this. I am sure AA could have cancelled/deferred these deliveries if they really wanted to.
Management could cancel or defer these deliveries, but at significant financial penalties with no gain to AA
's operations. By taking these deliveries the higher purchase costs is relatively minor (compared to penalties) while the operating costs of the newer planes can have a significant impact on AA
AA has explored winglets on at least two other occassions and decided against them, but this time, they stated the record high fuel costs were the trigger to evaluate them once again. Perhaps this time it will show a cost savings. No update yet, though, on what, if anything, they've determined.
Very strong rumor within the 737 fleet that all new deliveries will have winglets. High probability of retrofitting the existing fleet as well, but only if the new delivery rumor holds true (standardization issues).
's overall financial position can best be viewed from the outside (all of us non-AA senior management folks) by observing AA
senior management activities. In the not so distant past senior management spent all their effort trying to squeeze as much efficiency as possible from the operation while hoarding its cash (now $4B) trying to survive "day-to-day." Today management is looking farther ahead (years instead of days) and is more willing to spend (relatively) small amounts of money to squeeze larger amounts of savings (efficiency)... i.e. closing SFO
737 crew bases is not cheap. The fact that management is looking ahead and is willing to invest in the airline are the strongest indicators that AA
truly is "on the mend."