This topic comes up rather often, lots of people I guess think that AA
should rid itself of the A300; I guess because its an "older" type that has more or less been succeeded by the A330, that fewer and fewer airlines use them for pax services, and/or because the A300 does not fit into American's primarily Boeing fleet. My opinion is that the A300 will be with AA
for many years to come for the following reasons:
has a good deal on the A300; I believe that the lease rates are very competitive.
2. The A300 is a cash-cow for AA
, it is a high capacity aircraft in which AA
puts a lot of seats (now with less room thru coach) and flies the aircraft on many routes where loads and yeilds are very good. AA
's services out of MIA
to the Carib, Central and South America are very profitable ones, and the A300s go out full, with lots of pax, excess baggage and huge cargo loads.
3. The A300 fleet is not very old, the average age of the A300s is about 15 years, mid-life for an airliner, and about the same age as American's 762 fleet.
does not have the financial resources, at the moment, to purchase/lease a large fleet of wide-body airliners to replace the A300s. If it did, what would AA
select? The 777 is simply to much aircraft for most of the routes, buying more 763s to replace the A300s would mean AA
would have less seats to offer and would mean a reduction in that valuable cargo capacity, flying smaller aircraft with greater frequency is not necessary on many of the routes, and its unlikely that AA
would chose the A330 which would be more expensive to acquire/operate with little benefit - AA
does not need the greater range of the A330 for the segments in question. The 767-400 is a possibility, but AA
long ago stated that it had little interest in the 764.
5. Yes, the A300s have maintenace issues (and always had), I suspect that part of the reason is that the A300s are heavily used on more difficult routes where conditions are not always ideal. Not only packed flights from MIA
to Central American cities, but also short hops from San Juan to other carib islands.
Way down the road, AA
is likely to place an order for the various versions of the 7e7 to replace not only the A300, but also the 762 and to begin the fleet renewal of the 763. Before that can happen, AA
needs a few very profitable years and needs to get its balance sheet in order.