s.p.a.s.
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Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:32 pm

G'day,

Trying to settle some doubt straight, did ever American Airlines operate the 747-200? According to the airfleets site, it did, during six months more or less, back in the mid 80's. Apparently it was a leased machine from World Airways (N749WA, c/n 20653) but I did not find any image of it at the database.

On the other hand, other online fleet databases have no record of this aircraft ever flying for AA.

Any knowledgeable soul out there with a definite answer?

Thanks!

PS. I did search the forum, to no avail
"ad astra per aspera"
 
cargolex
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:42 pm

It seems to have been leased from mid-April to early May of 1984 for AA. Probably not actually operated by AA but by World via an ACMI agreement. AA did still operate the 747-100 at that time - though it was at the tail end of 747-100 operations for AA. It's possible that the World Aircraft filled in for a 747-100 that was leaving the fleet. Being a Convertible, the World plane could have substituted for either a pax or a freighter -100 (AA was operating a mixture of -100 pax and -100SF converted freighters at the time) that was down or leaving the fleet.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:59 pm

Airlinerlist reports a lease from April 15th to September 14th 1984.

Quoting s.p.a.s. (Thread starter):
but I did not find any image of it at the database.

I guess the aircraft remained in whatever livery it was when the lease began. I also tend to think it was used for cargo services since it was a -273C. At the time, the aircraft had just returned from a Lufthansa lease.

[Edited 2013-04-07 13:09:08]
 
s.p.a.s.
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:24 pm

Thanks for the informative answers so far, folks
"ad astra per aspera"
 
eastern747
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:36 pm

I can;t tell you what type of 747 it was....but I started with EA at DCA in 68 and was only there a few years before being promoted and transferred to the main headquarters in MIA. During my time in Washington i took a 90%ID or pass on AA from IAD to LAX. Got F/C and it was unbelievable. For you kids, google it, but we had Trader Vic service. (A south pacific theme) I believe upstairs was still a lounge...........
 
fsnuffer
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:57 pm

Here is an AA 747-100 that went on to make history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sh...e_at_Ellington_Airfield_1978_4.jpg
 
cedarjet
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:45 am

Didn't know AA were still operating 747s in the 80s, I thought they were all gone by about 76. In fact I thought the one in the movie Airport 1975 was one of the last in the fleet - like Continental and National, they were shortlived.

AA didn't have any intercontinental routes until about 1989, 1990, when TWA sold their Heathrow slots to AA (which was when UA bought PA's). So where were AA operating 747s in the early 80s - just JFK-LAX? Any ORD? Any DFW?
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commavia
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:01 am

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 6):
AA didn't have any intercontinental routes until about 1989, 1990, when TWA sold their Heathrow slots to AA (which was when UA bought PA's). So where were AA operating 747s in the early 80s - just JFK-LAX? Any ORD? Any DFW?

AA was flying intercontinetal long before the Heathrow/TWA slot purchase.

AA's first route to Europe (since the sale of AOA to Pan Am in 1950) began all the way back in 1982 - DFW-LGW. Throughout the 1980s AA build up a surprisingly robust network to Continental Europe, albeit primarily with 767s.

AA also flew DFW-NRT starting in 1987 with two ex-TWA 747SPs. After those were replaced on the DFW-NRT sector with MD11s, the 747SPs were used (relatively) briefly on JFK-LHR/BRU until being ultimately retired around 1991.

AA has not flown a 747 since.
 
cedarjet
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:28 am

Yes I had forgotten how far back the DFW-LGW route was. I do recall some old 747 Classics in AA livery at LGW, maybe even before 82 as I am sure I saw AA and BN 747s together at LGW, so maybe 79, 80?

Where else did AA send 747s then? (The rest of it must have been domestic - as you say, the rest of continental Europe was built up with 767s including 767-200ERs.)
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
commavia
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:54 am

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 8):
Yes I had forgotten how far back the DFW-LGW route was. I do recall some old 747 Classics in AA livery at LGW, maybe even before 82 as I am sure I saw AA and BN 747s together at LGW, so maybe 79, 80?

AA did not fly to Europe at all - 747 or otherwise - before 1982.

Decades earlier, American Overseas Airlines served Europe, but that was sold to Pan Am in 1950.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 8):
Where else did AA send 747s then? (The rest of it must have been domestic - as you say, the rest of continental Europe was built up with 767s including 767-200ERs.)

Throughout the 1970s, AA was flying 747s on domestic routes including transcons, Hawaii, and San Juan, plus internationally to the Caribbean and I believe also to the South Pacific as well. (AA definitely flew to the South Pacific pre-1982, but not sure if it was DC10s/707s, or 747s.)
 
vincewy
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:35 am

In addition, AA nearly took 2 747-400s in the early 90s had they been awarded ORD-NRT (this went to UA instead). Those 2 frames went to CP in the end.
 
TUGMASTER
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:52 am

As mention to someone previously...

Slightly off topic , But

Pan Am used to lease a 747 Freighter off of AA every weekend in the early-mid 80's,to supplement there cargo network...
Primarily used around the US, but every now and then , it would end up at LHR on a Weekend...

Maybe someone else has a recollection of these...?

or pic even..
 
WA707atMSP
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:20 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 9):
Throughout the 1970s, AA was flying 747s on domestic routes including transcons, Hawaii, and San Juan, plus internationally to the Caribbean and I believe also to the South Pacific as well. (AA definitely flew to the South Pacific pre-1982, but not sure if it was DC10s/707s, or 747s.)

When AA flew to Hawaii and the South Pacific 1970-1974, all flights were operated with 707-323s. AA was unable to make a profit on these routes with a 707, let alone a wide body.

AA resumed service to Hawaii in 1980, with a mix of 747s and DC-10s. AA resumed service to the South Pacific in 1989, with DC-10-30s.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 8):
Yes I had forgotten how far back the DFW-LGW route was. I do recall some old 747 Classics in AA livery at LGW, maybe even before 82 as I am sure I saw AA and BN 747s together at LGW, so maybe 79, 80?

AA and Braniff did not serve LGW on a scheduled basis at the same time. Braniff's only route to LGW was from DFW. This route was awarded to AA after Braniff shut down in 1982. If AA and Braniff aircraft were at LGW together, the AA aircraft would have been on a charter.
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milesrich
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:43 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 6):
Didn't know AA were still operating 747s in the 80s, I thought they were all gone by about 76. In fact I thought the one in the movie Airport 1975 was one of the last in the fleet - like Continental and National, they were shortlived.

AA didn't have any intercontinental routes until about 1989, 1990, when TWA sold their Heathrow slots to AA (which was when UA bought PA's). So where were AA operating 747s in the early 80s - just JFK-LAX? Any ORD? Any DFW?

I lived in the DFW area from 1981 to 1984. In 1983, I flew DFW-HNL on an American 747-123. I made another trip on the same route in September or October of 1984 but as I remember, that flight was on DC-10. I believe this was during the period when AA traded their 747-123s to PA for NA's former DC-10s.

[Edited 2013-04-08 07:44:28]
 
teusje
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:49 pm

According to planespotters.net AA operated N749WA (cn 20653 / 237) for 5 months in 1984 (1984-04-15 to 1984-09-15)
319 320 321 333 343 388 732 733 734 735 737 738 739 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 773 BN2A C172 C180 DC93 F28
 
s.p.a.s.
Topic Author
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:20 pm

Nice discussion going on.

Now I wonder if when originally ordered, this 747s were really needed or AA placed the order to make part of the "I operate the 747" badnwagon.

Whas really such capacity needed at the time?
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boeingrulz
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:29 pm

I was on a 747-100 from ORD-LAX in 1976. It had a lounge in the rear of the plane. When the captain announced we were over the grand canyon my sisters and I were allowed into the lounge so we could look out the windows at the grand canyon below.
 
WA707atMSP
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:05 pm

Quoting s.p.a.s. (Reply 15):
Nice discussion going on.

Now I wonder if when originally ordered, this 747s were really needed or AA placed the order to make part of the "I operate the 747" badnwagon.

When the 747 was ordered in 1966, airline traffic was doubling every four years, and jet fuel was $0.10 / gallon. Many airlines made the mistake of assuming that the growth rates of the 1960s would continue indefinitely, and jet fuel prices would not increase. On a per revenue passenger basis, the 747 is less expensive to operate than 707s or DC-8s, so it was assumed that airlines with large fleets of 747s would have a cost advantage over airlines that did not.

The flaw in this analysis only became apparent when airlines began taking delivery of their 747s, DC-10s, and L-1011s, at a time when airline traffic was actually declining from levels in 1965-68 and it was a challenge to fill up a 707, let alone an aircraft 2.5 times larger than a 707. The 1973/74 run up in jet fuel prices sealed the fate of the 747 in American's, Delta's, TWA's, Continental's, and National's fleets; all five airlines sold off some or all of their 747s at fire sale prices because they were so difficult to operate profitably.

In the late 1970s, American determined that they could only make money on a year round basis with the 747 on JFK-LAX / SJU; these two routes were where most of AA's 747s were concentrated.
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MIflyer12
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:06 pm

Quoting s.p.a.s. (Reply 15):
Nice discussion going on.

Now I wonder if when originally ordered, this 747s were really needed or AA placed the order to make part of the "I operate the 747" badnwagon.

Whas really such capacity needed at the time?

Everybody was chasing lower average seat cost from widebodies. The current right-sizing by DL and UA which focuses on yields is a 180-degree turn from the U.S. practices of the 70s and early 80s.
 
Newark727
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:02 pm

How long did AA's converted cargo 747 fleet last? I was looking through the database of old LAX photos and I think a few photos were dated into the mid-eighties.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:21 pm

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 19):
How long did AA's converted cargo 747 fleet last?

Operations lasted until 12/1984. The link below is not very clear but gives you an idea.

http://www.geocities.com/aeromoe/fleets/aa.html
 
Viscount724
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RE: Did AA Operate The 747-200?

Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:49 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 7):
Quoting cedarjet (Reply 6):
AA didn't have any intercontinental routes until about 1989, 1990, when TWA sold their Heathrow slots to AA (which was when UA bought PA's). So where were AA operating 747s in the early 80s - just JFK-LAX? Any ORD? Any DFW?

AA was flying intercontinetal long before the Heathrow/TWA slot purchase.

AA's first route to Europe (since the sale of AOA to Pan Am in 1950) began all the way back in 1982 - DFW-LGW.

I flew that route (nonrev) in F class on an AA DC-10-30 in January 1983. The flight originated at LAX, same aircraft and flight number LAX-DFW-LGW. I wanted to try AA as it wasn't long after they began transatlantic service. It certainly wasn't the most direct route from YVR but was more interesting than the usual options.