American accelerates its retirements for all E190s, plus some A330s and 767s

American will retire all of its E190s, which once flew for US Airways, by the end of 2017, the airline told employees this week. Photo: David Montiverdi/Flickr (Creative Commons)

American will retire all of its E190s, which once flew for US Airways, by the end of 2017, the airline told employees this week. Photo: David Montiverdi/Flickr (Creative Commons)

American Airlines will retire all 20 of its Embraer E190s and some of its Airbus A330s and Boeing 767s sooner than expected, American spokesman Casey Norton confirmed to me on Friday. 

The E190s, which once flew for US Airways, will disappear by the end of 2019, according to a message from Hector Adler, the carrier's vice president for flight service. The small fleet primarily flies as the American Shuttle, which operates flights between New York, Washington D.C. and Boston. American will be keeping the Shuttle brand, but it will use different aircraft. 

"The E190s have some expensive maintenance scheduled in the near future, so it makes sense to phase them out of the fleet in 2019," Adler said.

American is also accelerating retirements for all nine of its Airbus A330-300s. According to Adler, the retirements will occur between 2017 and the end of 2018. American is keeping all 15 of its A330-200s, a smaller aircraft. 

American says it is retiring the A330-300s, which also came from US Airways, for three key reasons. First, Adler says, "smaller fleets can be pricey to maintain." Second, the aircraft is the only one in American's fleet to use the Pratt & Whitney PW4168 engine, which makes maintenance more complicated. And third, the planes have 291 seats, making them roughly equivalent to American's 289-seat Boeing 777-200. American believes it needs only one aircraft of this size. 

American is also accelerating Boeing 767-300 retirements. American has already said it will reduce the number of 767s, but it plans to move faster. American says its first 767-300 was delivered in 1988 and the planes have  "...been a challenge for our international reliability."

American says it has 40 Boeing 767s today. Previous plans called for the fleet to shrink to 25 by the end of 2017, Adler said. Now, the airline says, it will retire eight more, so it will have only 17 by the end of next year. These will be the carrier's 17 youngest 767s, and all have the airline's new business class product. 


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