No change in the freighter fleet.
What do we make of the 10 A321s? Is 10 large enough to maintain a subfleet on its own much past 12.23?
The decisions have been made about Airbus & it's future flying for AS. No, it's not at all profitable to run a sub-fleet for ten aircraft. I am not at liberty to discuss details, but I've heard that AS or the lessor can find homes for the A-321neo's very easily & It's rumored up to half of them may be spoken for already. I know not when they'll exit the fleet, AS has had a difficult time finding the suitable markets to run them. But both AS & passengers enjoy the aircraft.
The A-321 was supposed to fly Hawaii routes at one point, in fact the F/A's were told it would be happening. The majority, if not all of the A-320's are still parked as the MAX's start coming in rapid delivery style. AS didn't take "Proudly All Boeing" off their existing 737's because they knew what way they would go.
The Pandemic sadly played well for AS, they have chipped away the majority of their Airbuses & what is left, remains mostly parked. AS does not want to operate the type & haven't made any real moves to claim those birds other than wash off the Virgin branding ASAP. AS dumped a ton of money into refurb's & paint with decals, but stopped paying fees to Virgin.
For several people guessing routes, a few of you are correct, wait for AS to add a few cities, but more strengthen their existing network. I'd expect the huge amount of E-175''s to replace some Q-400's, but there are some stations that the Q-400 is great for. SEA-EUG/MFR/RDM & PDX-MFR/RDM. Plus the new RDD & IDA flights are courtesy of ERJ's running more routes that used to be only Q's.
AS in the 5 year, if anyone remembers, wanted to really position itself with CA. They are adding new routes out of MT, ID, OR & WA. They are slowly connecting some overdue dots, plus adding back, only what fits today in 2021.
AS will NOT be conservative as it was under Tilden, which as a stockholder could make one nervous, but I fully expect AS to stay relevant to Hawaii, the MAX will likely fly one or two inland routes, maybe BOI or GEG, for example. Watch AS test the limits of the MAX 9 in regards to range.
We are fortunate here in RDM, AS has n/s service to SAN, LAX, SFO, PDX & SEA (it sure gave us lots of connecting opportunities flying to LAS & HI) & also giving us multiple connecting opportunities to the entire AS system.
I think MFR & EUG may see more South bound service. I am confident PDX is not being ignored by AS despite one or two pessimists, the year is looking far brighter than even 5 months ago. Be sure to watch AS go back to shorter advance notice on new services (remember they were announcing a year out, just two years ago?). The 900 & MAX 9 will be the backbone of the AS fleet & the ERJ will be QX's. but the Q-400 does have an important role still for QX.
Also a few people had intimated that QX may buy 50 seat props, just NO! the Q-200's were dropped purposely, with QX well aware they'd be dropping stations, like PDT, ACV, RDD & LMT. Some feel it's a mistake to ignore these smaller places, but QX disagrees. In fact I'd lay good money that QX never buys another prop aircraft again, nor lease one, except to replace a Q-400 in fleet that may be lost & it'll be sourced from their lessor.