What would it take to pull some 767's out of storage to compensate for the delayed 787s? With the expected TA rebound, will AA fall further behind UA and DL?
No chance on the 767. The remaining frames, except for the 2002 builds that were ordered to replace the high lease ex-TWA birds, were not in the best shape and part of the reason for the accelerated retirement aside from COVID and capacity cuts and fleet simplification, were mods that these frames likely would have required. Of the remaining 763s, many have been sold off, scrapped, or are likely no longer airworthy. The 76s had a lousy dispatch reliability track record at AA in their later years.
If there was a fleet type I could see come back on line, but it is such a long shot, are the A330-200s. They were pretty new, had the P/E cabin but not sure about type rating considerations with AA wide body fleet reduced to 777 and 787 only.
What was the dispatch reliability of the B763 fleet as compared to the rest of the widebody fleet?
I have no specifics but AA did acknowledge they were a drag on operations in prior statements and more prominently, on customer satisfaction. In their latter years of service and pre-pandemic, they were isolated to the PHL and MIA hubs. At JFK, they deliberately moved off TATL flights that still had them as a way to improve AA's competitiveness and offer a more consistent product on its portfolio of long haul flights out of JFK, which pre-COVID, were LHR, CDG, GRU, GIG (seasonal), FCO (seasonal), MXP, BCN, MAD, and EZE. The last two TATL routes to feature the 767-300ER out of JFK on AA were MAD and CDG, which were up gauged to the 777 in March 2019.
American underinvested in the 767 for years. It took shortcuts everywhere in terms of modifications. While it spent millions revamping the 777-200ER fleet, by removing First Class, redoing the interiors nose to tail, and installing premium economy later, the 767 never got that kind of thorough retrofit was essentially the same plane it was in 2020 before it was retired as it was in 1988 when deliveries began.
The Business Class cabin received a half-assed redo in the mid-2000s with 777 style signature interior limited to the forward business class cabin. Economy remained as is, with boxy overheads, the original bins, lighting, and passenger service consoles. They never had AVOD seat back screens installed (except for 9 2002 builds that were ordered to replace the inherited 763s from TWA that were on very high leases given TWA's poor credit rating).
Business Class was given a further revamp a few years ago with seats similar to what you find today on OS and LX, but the rest of the plane remained as is, save for seats being recovered in pleather. Delays were common. In short, AA took a very different approach to the 767-300 which was for almost 3 decades the workhorse of the long haul fleet, than DL and UA, which rebuilt theirs from the inside and out, extended their service life, and upgraded them entirely from nose to tail.