Why don't 22 planes work for AA when Delta is fine with 15 A359's in its vast fleet?
Delta has an entirely different fleet strategy from AA. DL pretty much operates every airplane. 73G, 738, 739, A319, A320, A321, 752, 753, MD88, 717, MD90, 763, 764, 772, A332, A333, A359.
AA has driven towards fleet simplicity. Small subfleets seem less appealing to them.
Well then, if small subfleets are less appealing to them, what are they going to do with the 15 A332s once the 9 A333s leave the fleet? They are not planning on dumping them are they? If they decide not to take the A350s, which is what I think is the most likely decision according to what I read in most of the above replies, then they should discuss with Airbus for a swap to additional A330-200s to add to the current fleet of 15 units, as well as additional A321NEOs to replace the remaining 757s as well as the oldest 738s which will turn 20 soon.
They have to make a decision this year 2018. They can't keep deferring and think for ever. If they decide not to take the A350s, one of the following will happen:
Either they say frankly: "No we don't want the A350s anymore, we have decided not to buy anymore Airbus widebodies" and they pay the penalties to Airbus, or they work out a deal with Airbus to swap with additional A330s or A321NEOs or both.
This is the widebody future fleet that would make the most sense to me:
A330-200 again additional units ordered to add to the current 15 units, in lieu of the 22 A359s. By working out such a deal, Airbus might lower or even waive the canceling penalties.
77E to be eventually be replaced by additional 789s, they'll start showing their age by the start of next decade.
77W I'm sure the last one won't leave the fleet before 2035.
787-8 not sure they'll pick up additional 8s even if they convert options.
787-9 additional options to be converted to firm order.
787-10 maybe, for routes to Asia where high capacity might be needed, for example LAX-HKG and LAX-NRT.
777-9 maybe, for high premium routes such as JFK-LHR, LAX-LHR and MIA-GRU.
That scenario, it leaves three types in the wide body fleet, A330, 777 and 787.
767 gone, even if Boeing resumes the 767-300ER production in pax layout.
A350 canceled (yes DP may be an Airbus lover, but he is not the only one to make that decision, a lot of managers at AA are leaning towards additional 787s)
This is the narrowbody future fleet that would make the most sense to me:
737-9/10MAX I don't think so, although you never know.
A320 gone (I don't think they'll go for the 320NEO, although you never know, 319NEO...I don't think so).
757 gone (maybe Icelandair will be interested in picking up additional used 757s, if they want to expand to more leisure markets)
Regional fleet, most likely to be: