“American Airlines Group Inc is set to sharply increase the number of jets it is planning to retire beyond its announced plans as it accelerates a fleet transformation to respond to the coronavirus crisis, people familiar with the matter said.
Some 4,700 jets have been parked globally as airlines slash operations due to travel restrictions, according to Ascend by Cirium fleet data, and American’s decision confirms industry speculation that many of those older jets will not fly again.
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In addition to the retirement of 34 Boeing 757-200s and 17 Boeing 767-300s announced just two weeks ago, American now plans to also sunset a batch of 76 Boeing 737-800s it acquired between 1999 and 2001, nine Airbus A330-300s and 20 Embraer E190s, the people said.
The plans were announced by President Robert Isom in a video Q&A with employees on Sunday, where he said the arrival of new Boeing 737 MAX jets, expected later this year after a prolonged global grounding, could help facilitate the retirement of older jets that would be in need of heavy maintenance.
American is also considering retiring some of its 50-seat regional jets, he said.
American said on March 12 it was accelerating the retirement of its remaining Boeing 757s and 767s as it looks at removing older, less fuel-efficient aircraft from its fleet.
“Decisions beyond the 757 and 767 have yet to be finalized, and we continue to make refinements to our overall fleet plan,” American spokesman Ross Feinstein said, adding that decisions would be based on demand.”