OMAAT is reporting that AA is looking to replace the A321T permanently on JFK-LAX/SFO with wide bodies and reconfigure the 321T into standard AA cabin layout.
With the 321neoXLR coming online at AA in 2023, I don't see need for the 321T to remain in the subfleet. If the XLRs get the intl configuration of all-aisle-access J seats, and maybe even a 12-seat premium economy cabin, then they can be rotated into the JFK-LAX/SFO routes along with an occasional 787-8 during high-demand times. The 321Ts will also lose some of its necessities (i.e. numerous frequencies) once the AA/B6 partnership commences.
That makes sense, and it has been stated by the company that the A321XLR will be deployed to JFK, and will be easy enough to rotate from TATL to LAX/SFO as needed, but AA needs a stop gap between 2021 and 2023, a long span of time, though it is very unclear as to whether traffic levels, and specifically, premium demand which the 321T fulfilled, will pick up. If it does, and AA reactivates more wide bodies plus the 788/789s coming on line in the next order batch, then they'll need to figure out how to calibrate frequency with aircraft utilization and even with the B6 partnership, they'll need to offer something that can work alongside MINT (similar to what DL had to do with VS on JFK-LHR) and minimize the glaring differences between product offerings in the premium cabin. The 788/789 is too much plane for JFK-LAX/SFO, so I'd suspect frequencies may stay down, and LAX will see AA 772s if the 321T is removed permanently. SFO is another story. AA has indicated JFK-SFO does not work on a wide body for them, so either the 321T sub fleet gets smaller or they exit completely and cede SFO to B6, which is plausible, but seems unlikely given AA's NY strategy of flying to business destinations based on corporate contracts. There is no other aircraft in the AA fleet that can do these flights without it just being a standard product, and I don't see AA using 737-800s, 737-MAX8s, or standard A321s on these runs. The other wild card, is AS. Their product is the weakest in the premium cabin and does not compete well with B6, DL, and UA. If they exit JFK-SFO, then I see AA keeping the T's and reducing the frequency to 2-3 at most a day and the rest goes to B6.