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kann123air
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Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:10 am

Doing some research, I found out that AA's A300s were, for the most part, younger than the 762 fleet. Why did they retire them earlier, instead of retiring the 762s and using the A300s on their transcons instead?
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:26 am

Part of the reason must be that the A300s were more costly in MX than the 762s are. Also, the A300s never flew transcons. American never considered scheduling them on flights to the West Coast. If you notice, it is the only aircraft at American that never flew out of DFW, they stayed on the East Coast and flew for a while to LHR from JFK and EWR. They were bought to be flown on specific markets out of JFK and MIA, mostly to SJU and the Caribbean. The A300s had significant cargo capacity, that's why they flew mostly out of MIA and JFK.
So in summary, the A300s and the 762s were meant to be flown on different sectors, the only two routes the two aircraft both flew were EWR-LHR and MIA-JFK, AFAIK.

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JoePatroni707
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:43 am

Actually for a short time both LAS and LAX did see scheduled A300 service in the early 90s. LAS saw a daily A300 from ORD and LAX from MIA. But it was very short lived.
 
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Polot
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:17 am

AA was trying to simplify their fleet and lower costs. The A300s may have been newer than most of the 762s, but the 762s have commonality with their large 763 fleet. The A300 was the oddball.
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:21 am

AA also would have had to spend the money to convert the A300s from two classes to three classes in order to serve the Premium Transcon markets (LAX/SFO-JFK).
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:38 am

Quoting Polot (Reply 3):
The A300 was the oddball

.. an oddball that nonetheless is enjoying a healthy life on the second Hand market for freighter conversions,
something their 762´s did not, as their Age and being fully depreciated, most are simply to old so they might aswell fly
them to the end of life . Lufthansa made a simmilar decision in selling the 734´s some years ago, but keeping
the 733´s and 735´s which they will fly till the bitter end!
some you lose, others you can´t win!
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:48 am

I thought tat most f the ex AA A300 were sitting in the desert or already turned into cans?.
 
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Polot
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:36 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 6):
I thought tat most f the ex AA A300 were sitting in the desert or already turned into cans?.

Yes, only 2 went off to other operators. AA's A300s were amongst the first -600Rs built, spent most of their life doing short hops in the Caribbean (so in other words, very salty air), and had a reputation for being maintenance pigs (whether that was the aircraft's fault or AA's is up in the air). They are not exactly the pick of the litter when it comes to A300s, and were retired when cargo demand was falling and cargo airlines were parking freighters.
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:16 pm

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 2):

Actually for a short time both LAS and LAX did see scheduled A300 service in the early 90s. LAS saw a daily A300 from ORD and LAX from MIA. But it was very short lived.

AA also few A300s on ORD-MIA in the mid 1990s. Also, around 1997, I was talking to an LAX F/A, and she told me that there had been an announcement that the A300 was going to have an LAX crew base. So, she was trained on the A300. Then, AA decided not to base the A300 at LAX. She was more than a bit peeved.
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:19 pm

Quoting Polot (Reply 3):
AA was trying to simplify their fleet and lower costs. The A300s may have been newer than most of the 762s, but the 762s have commonality with their large 763 fleet. The A300 was the oddball.

Which is sort of funny considering that AA was the biggest customer of that type.
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:26 pm

One question who got the Eastern A300? AA?

I flew from MIA to SJU in Nov 1990 an AA, A300 I remember they were very dirty inside and out....

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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:32 pm

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 10):
One question who got the Eastern A300? AA?

Most went to CO and the rest were scattered across various airlines. AA did not take any, all of their A300s were new orders. AA was the launch customer for the -600R version, which were far more capable than the A300B4s that Eastern had.
 
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kann123air
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:53 pm

Ah, I understand. Thanks for all the replies!
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:25 pm

Quoting kann123air (Reply 12):
Ah, I understand. Thanks for all the replies!

You're welcome.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 10):
One question who got the Eastern A300? AA?

Like Polot says, most of them went to CO. Because at that time, EA and CO had formed a joint venture company, Texas Air. Texas Air existed officially on paper but in practical life, the two airlines still existed independently from one another. The Texas Air Corporation was managed by Frank Lorenzo.
None of the Eastern A300s went to AA. All of American's A300s were 600 variants. American never flew the original A300B4 that was introduced in the 70s, Pan Am did.
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:48 pm

Quoting American 767 (Reply 13):
EA and CO had formed a joint venture company, Texas Air.

Texas Air wasn't a joint venture company, it was the holding company. It was an airline (Texas International Airlines) headed by Lorenzo that purchased and merged with CO. They later bought EA but did not merge EA and CO, although Lorenzo was shifting as many assets from EA to CO as he could.
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:44 pm

Can someone provide me with a brief summary of the major maintenance issues associated with AA's A300s? Calling it a maintenance pig is fine but I am curious what particular issues made it such.
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:08 pm

You guys are forgetting a big detail.

More than half if the A300 fleet was leased.

Much easier to strike a deal and work to terminate leases to save money versus parking an asset which you are not going to net much from.

And yes the fleet simplification desire was another big consideration. The AIrbus was unique in every way from crews to maintenance, while AA had lots if infrastructure for the 757-767 family.
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:50 pm

Another reason perhaps was that AA or any other carrier besides CO did not take the EA A300's, was that they were run into the ground.. EA management decided to use the A300's to ship cargo at night for CF Air Freight and sell tickets for "profit" at $99 coast to coast, connecting in IAH... the A300s were used 24 hours a day and became really ragged.
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:05 pm

A300s are expensive to run, simple.
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:38 pm

It is a shame that AA did not use the A300 in place of the 762. The A300 would have made a nice aircraft for JFK-LAX.
 
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kann123air
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:13 pm

Would AA have recevied more 'flak' for keeping the A300 over the 762, because most airlines by now have retired it? By keeping the 762, they are among the company with US, who still uses it...
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:45 pm

Quoting KC135Hydraulics (Reply 15):
Can someone provide me with a brief summary of the major maintenance issues associated with AA's A300s? Calling it a maintenance pig is fine but I am curious what particular issues made it such.

I don't have specifics to give you, perhaps an AA employee more familiar with the plane would. But I do know that without exception every single AA A306 flight I was ever on was delayed for a mx issue. The only one that we found out what specifically was causing the issue was on a JFK-MIA flight where we were stuck at the gate for an hour while they investigated why one of the doors wouldn't close. The captain came on afterwards and said they found a peanut shell in the mechanism!
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:11 am

Commonality and right sizing are the biggest reasons. The 762 made sense for AA in the niche it ran/runs.

Quoting cougar15 (Reply 5):
.. an oddball that nonetheless is enjoying a healthy life on the second Hand market for freighter conversions,
something their 762´s did not

As mentioned, only 2 of the AA birds moved onto the second-hand market. Also, the 762 has seen a longer PAX life.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 16):
More than half if the A300 fleet was leased.

Big part.

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 9):
Which is sort of funny considering that AA was the biggest customer of that type.

Yeah, but nothing compared to the numbers they have of the 757/767 family, which are cross-crewed.

Quoting KC135Hydraulics (Reply 15):

Can someone provide me with a brief summary of the major maintenance issues associated with AA's A300s? Calling it a maintenance pig is fine but I am curious what particular issues made it such.

The main issue is the mission on which AA used the planes. They spent most of their lives flying relatively short hops to the Caribbean from MIA and JFK (with a sprinkling of BOS and DFW), being loaded up with cargo and flying as many sectors as possible.

Quoting kann123air (Reply 20):
Would AA have recevied more 'flak' for keeping the A300 over the 762, because most airlines by now have retired it? By keeping the 762, they are among the company with US, who still uses it...

Who knows? They kept the Fokkers over the 717, which seemed weird at the time and indeed was stupid.
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:26 pm

The 762 operated only coast to coast flights. The A300 flights were mostly from 90 minutes( Miami to Haiti) to 5 hours (Lima), most were about 3 hours. The A300 was AA's big Latin American plane with thr cargo needs to the islands and Latin countries. The A300 only had a small First Class cabin and huge y cabins, briefly some did fly between BOS/JFK to LHR with F/J/Y cabins.
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:53 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 23):
The 762 operated only coast to coast flights

Plus JFK-MIA-JFK, and sometimes JFK-BDA-JFK.



The A300 briefly did fly between EWR/BOS/JFK to LHR with F/J/Y cabins.

[Edited 2013-12-08 10:54:34]
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:58 pm

Quoting N62NA (Reply 24):
JFK-BDA-JFK.

Not anymore. JFK-MIA-JFK is the only non transcon route that still sees the 762. JFK-MIA-JFK is sold as two-class even though the airplane is physically three-class configured.
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:03 pm

Point is that AA found the A300 niche and that is hauling large amounts of cargo because it can load LD3 containers side by side like all Airbus wide-bodies. AA/US will again have a great modern plane in the same class and that is the A330 which burns less fuel than the 777 but more than the 767.
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:24 pm

I always enjoyed flying the A300 the only delays I ever had with them were crew issues. But flying a large widebody like that on MIA-JFK and MIA-BOS was always nice. I found them much more comfortable than the 752s. Those planes were perfect for flights like MIA-PAP and northern South America with all the cargo they could carry. That being said with all the planes in the fleet it was the one which made sense to retire first the most.
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:46 pm

Quoting willzzz88 (Reply 26):
AA/US will again have a great modern plane in the same class and that is the A330 which burns less fuel than the 777 but more than the 767.

Not going to help. QF proved that the A330 has no business doing quick turn, shorter haul runs.
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:11 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 28):
Quoting willzzz88 (Reply 26):
AA/US will again have a great modern plane in the same class and that is the A330 which burns less fuel than the 777 but more than the 767.

Not going to help. QF proved that the A330 has no business doing quick turn, shorter haul runs.

There must be half a dozen airlines flying A333s on regional asian routes like HKG-TPE- 436nm, multiple times daily for some of these airlines (CX,CI, BR,) and they do just fine. Whats QFs problem??
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:29 am

Quoting trex8 (Reply 29):
There must be half a dozen airlines flying A333s on regional asian routes like HKG-TPE- 436nm, multiple times daily for some of these airlines (CX,CI, BR,) and they do just fine. Whats QFs problem??

QF actually expected to turn them in a reasonably quick time, and to have the operate exactly the same mission (SYD-MEL/BNE/etc) all day, every day. The A330 is an excellent plane, but just not built for that.
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:41 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 28):
QF proved that the A330 has no business doing quick turn, shorter haul runs.

Not really, all that QF proved was that you can't turn it in 40 minutes ... which is what they turn their 767s in.

The A330 can be easily turned in 55-60 minutes, but QF considered that to be unacceptably excessive.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 30):
to have the operate exactly the same mission (SYD-MEL/BNE/etc) all day, every day

That's the other point: QF wanted them to fly 90 minute sectors continually for 14 hours.

The AA Caribbean network isn't really congruent to that sort of operation.
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tommy1808
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:49 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 30):

QF actually expected to turn them in a reasonably quick time,

For a A333 turnaround under 60 minutes is easy to accomplish, 50 Minutes might be very well doable and if you don´t have much to fuel, not much galley stocking and not much cargo to handle 45 Minutes seem possible.
Any idea what their problem was with regards to turnaround? The Manual (55 min) seems to be a little on the pessimistic side for anything but long range flying. They could hardly have been surprised by the turnaround time.

best regards
Thomas

[Edited 2013-12-10 04:20:36]
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:53 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 31):
The A330 can be easily turned in 55-60 minutes, but QF considered that to be unacceptably excessive.

The extra time could be made up for in the extra passengers. That wasn't the real issue.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 31):
The AA Caribbean network isn't really congruent to that sort of operation.

Not the exact same thing, but something similar. A very hard life for the aircraft.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 31):

Quoting N1120A (Reply 28):
QF proved that the A330 has no business doing quick turn, shorter haul runs.

Not really, all that QF proved was that you can't turn it in 40 minutes ... which is what they turn their 767s in.

Its not just the turn itself, but the way the aircraft reacts to such a difficult schedule
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:08 pm

G´day

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 32):
not much gallery stocking

I was not aware they change paintings at each turnaround. So what is it? Rembrandt on the way out and Van Gogh on the return with the pattern reversed in weekly intervals?  

Sorry, could not resist      


Cheers

Peter
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:22 pm

Quoting Heavierthanair (Reply 34):
Sorry, could not resis

Understandable. Rembrandt and van Gogh still have a contract with KLM iirc  
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:58 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 31):
That's the other point: QF wanted them to fly 90 minute sectors continually for 14 hours.

The AA Caribbean network isn't really congruent to that sort of operation.

One reason the A330 probably wouldnt work as an A300 replacement is the short haul AA flights are all international making 60 minute turns hard but the short haul Qantas flights are domestic. After a Sydney or Melbourne to Singapore or Hong Kong a two or three hour turn is fine since these cities ae 8 hours from Aussie.
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:07 pm

Quoting kann123air (Thread starter):
Why did they retire them earlier, instead of retiring the 762s and using the A300s on their transcons instead?


Some believe that the crash of AA587 in November, 2011 had something to do with it. There have long been rumors that AA's insurers requiring the retirement of the AA's A300 fleet as a condition of continued insurability. Perhaps an overreaction in the months following 9/11. Perhaps not.....
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:23 pm

Quoting DL747400 (Reply 37):
Some believe that the crash of AA587 in November, 2011 had something to do with it. There have long been rumors that AA's insurers requiring the retirement of the AA's A300 fleet as a condition of continued insurability. Perhaps an overreaction in the months following 9/11. Perhaps not.....

The timing is way off though AA 587 was in November 2001 and AA didn't retire the final A300 until 2009
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:19 pm

Quoting Heavierthanair (Reply 34):
Sorry, could not resist

Could not resist either.

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 35):
Rembrandt and van Gogh still have a contract with KLM iirc

Renoir and Cezanne still have a contract with Air France. And so do Monet and Matisse.

Anyway, back to the serious discussion of the topic:
I don't think that the crash of AA587 had an impact on the decision to retire the A300s earlier than the 762s. They kept flying the remaining 34 A300s out of JFK and MIA because they really needed them for cargo hauling. I think that the decision to retire the A300s in 2009 would have come up anyway, even if there was no crash with the airplane. In 2009, American was still in bad shape following the price of oil sky rocketing, the oil crisis of 2008. I think that was an impact on the decision to retire the A300s, partly to reduce then number of types in the fleet and also because of MX costs.
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tommy1808
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:34 pm

Quoting American 767 (Reply 39):
I don't think that the crash of AA587 had an impact on the decision to retire the A300

It would be weird in any case, iirc the A300 crashed due to Pilot error/insufficient training and not due to any technical problem. If AAs insurance had any problems with a Pilot being able to overstrain the aircraft, AA would have had to retire their whole fleet at that point and replace it with A32x and newer.

best regards
Thomas
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JFKL1011
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:43 am

Seems like the combined events of 9/11 and AA 587 expedited the end of the A300 particularly the latter as AA and Airbus relations soured quickly over the cause of the crash.
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TrijetsRMissed
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:59 am

IMO, The A300's relatively high maintenance and operating costs, plus poor dispatch reliability, put this type on the hot seat for retirement by the mid 2000s. Lease termination dates dictated the timeline from there.
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:51 pm

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 42):
IMO, The A300's relatively high maintenance and operating costs, plus poor dispatch reliability, put this type on the hot seat for retirement by the mid 2000s. Lease termination dates dictated the timeline from there.

I would still love to know some of the specific maintenance issues that existed with this type. I've read a lot of generalities but nothing that pointed to specific systems/issues that caused such high maintenance costs.
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superjeff
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:10 am

I'm not sure AA 587 crashed due to pilot error. It has been determined that the pilots acted exactly as trained. Unfortunately, training was inadequate which caused the copilot to apply incorrect pressure on the rudder pedals.
 
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:24 am

Quoting KC135Hydraulics (Reply 43):
I would still love to know some of the specific maintenance issues that existed with this type

Common issues included the hydraulics, APU, flight-deck instruments, pressurization system and so on. Above all, it's my understanding that the electrical system was the root cause for most of the problems.
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tommy1808
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:04 am

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 45):
hydraulics, APU, flight-deck instruments, pressurization system and so on.

So, all items provided by a vendor that also supplies those things to other aircrafts and manufacturers w/o causing excessive maintenance? Afaik no A300 has crashed due to mx problems so far, most A300-600 are still in operation.... there are just not many indicators that the A300 is a maintenance heavy aircraft. That doesn´t mean it wasn´t, but it seems more to be a legend.

best regards
Thomas
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:52 am

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 46):
So, all items provided by a vendor that also supplies those things to other aircrafts and manufacturers w/o causing excessive maintenance?

Many systems are specific to aircraft type. AA 752s were of the same vintage, had equivalent systems, yet didn't incur these problems at the same rate. For the A300 fleet, it was likely a culmination of factors at AA and not entirely the fault of Airbus or the plane itself.

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 46):
That doesn´t mean it wasn´t, but it seems more to be a legend.

It is not a legend. I can only speak for the US, but there are several known unique cases of relative poor MX/reliability with specific airline/fleet combos. e.g. DL MD-90s (years earlier), EA L-1011s, AA F100s, etc. Those who have been around long enough could probably create a thread on it.
There's nothing quite like a trijet.
 
tommy1808
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:05 am

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 47):
AA F100s,

Maybe the MX Problem is AA and not the OEM? Given that those planes work very reliably for other airlines. Especially the ex AA F100s all of a sudden work very well for those airlines that got them.....

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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PITingres
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RE: Why Did AA Retire The A300 Before The 762?

Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:45 pm

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 48):
Maybe the MX Problem is AA and not the OEM?

Well, of course it's possible, but keep in mind that nobody used that particular A300 model the same way AA used them, either. Regardless of whether the root cause was the plane, the routes, the tropical exposure, or AA's maintenance, if you have problems with a subfleet that is already an oddball, it's going to bias the decision towards getting rid of the subfleet. I'm sure that's what happened at AA.
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