Posts: 106
Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 9:47 am

American Airlines' 747......

Fri Mar 26, 1999 2:41 am

Why, in the last 10 years, has American Airlines decided to eliminate the 747 from their flight line?.......The now own two 777s....Why don't they have any 747s?

RE: American Airlines' 747......

Fri Mar 26, 1999 2:51 am

I can say a couple of things about this...
First, the 747's that American had were old. they were 747SP's, and not nearly as economical as what they have today. Second, they were not really needed after AA dropped it's service to the South Pacific. Notice that for almost a decade they didn't really have any very big planes, just DC-10's and MD-11's. Now that the economy has improved and they are doing well, they can bring on bigger planes, and the 777 is a good choice.

Now, about them not flying 747's, I saw something last week that got me curious. I was at LAX, which is undergoing renovations in AA's terminal. They have drawings up of what it will look like at the end of different stages, and in 2001 they show 4-engine transports parked there. At first, I thought this was insignificant, that they only used the 4 engine plane because people associate those with international service. When I got to Chicago a few hours later, I noticed that some AA gates in terminal 3 have 747 stop lines painted. This struck me for two reasons. First, they weren't there two weeks ago when I was last in Chicago, and second, I saw the same type of thing before... 738 and 777 lines painted before their Boeing order was announced. Maybe they've got somthing in the works.
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RE: American Airlines' 747......

Fri Mar 26, 1999 2:58 am

This is indeed very interesting news. Purdue Cadet got it right that the 747SPs were not very economical and AA didn't have alot of Pacific routes to use the 747s on. Now that they are expanding their pacific routes I would look for 747-400s or newer versions to be order. They would probably work hand in hand with the 777s. Plus they don't have the ETOPS problem.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower

RE: American Airlines' 747......

Fri Mar 26, 1999 5:51 am

Airlines sometimes lease out gate space to other airlines. Just a thought.
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Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 2:39 am

RE: American Airlines' 747......

Fri Mar 26, 1999 8:14 am

The 747 stop lines at the AA terminals may indeed be for future oneworld alliance airlines to use.
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Sat Mar 27, 1999 10:11 am

In addition to the SP's....AA also had -100's.

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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 10:00 am

RE: American Airlines' 747......

Sat Mar 27, 1999 11:02 am

Hi I'm Ben.
Here is my explanation why American doesn't have 747's anymore:

They were indeed one of the first to operate the B747-100 way back in 1970. They had a total of 16 B747-100's which they assigned on long haul domestic flights but they were not efficient to operate because they would burn a lof of fuel, and the load factor would be too low on most flights. This was back in the early 1970's at the time of the oil crisis (at that time American was not flying to Europe). The only 747 routing that broke even was JFK-LAX because the load factor was high enough there. American did have bad experience with the 747 because it was not efficient to operate like I explained so they retired the 747 fleet in 1984 in favor of more DC-10's which came from Pan Am (ex National).

Two years later, American bought 2 747 SP31's (you know where they come from if you know what 31 means) which they put on the Dallas-Tokyo flight which was just started. The 2 SP's were assigned on that flight until 1991 when the MD-11 came. The 2 SP's were moved to the Atlantic sector, I remember that at one time it was flown to Brussels from New York JFK. A year later those two aging aircrafts were retired. So after 1992 there was no more 747 at American.

I don't think that the 747-400 would have been a good airplane for American because they don't need such a high capacity aircraft, they don't have a strong network in the Pacific like Northwest and United have. They chose the 777-200 over the 747, they did the right thing because the 777 will be more efficient to operate because it will have a lower fuel burn and will have a higher load factor.

Have a good night.

Ben Soriano
Brussels Belgium

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