American Is Deferring Delivery Of Their A350s… Again

Filed Under: American

It sure seems like American isn’t terribly interested in actually taking delivery of the A350s they have on order.

American is in the process of refreshing their longhaul fleet, which includes taking delivery of Boeing 787-8, 787-9, and 777-300ER aircraft.

American Airlines 787-8

American was originally supposed to start taking delivery of A350s in early 2017 — they have a total of 22 A350-900 aircraft on order. Last July American announced that they’d defer delivery of these new planes an average of 26 months, and only start taking delivery of them in late 2018. This was done to decrease capital spending, and also as a response to economic slowdowns abroad.

Qatar Airways A350-900

Well, it sure seems like American is doing everything they can to not take delivery of these A350s, as they’ve just announced a further delay. FlightGlobal is reporting that American is now deferring the delivery of their A350 aircraft by two years, with delivery expected between 2020 and 2024.

On top of that, American has deferred the delivery of two 787-9 aircraft from the second quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019.

Much like before, it’s being reported that these changes are being made to give American more capacity flexibility and to reduce capital expenditures. This move will reduce American’s capital expenditures by $500 million in 2018, and by $300 million in both 2019 and 2020.

As of now American says they don’t plan to cancel their order or to convert the order into a different aircraft type. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of those things happen, given how much they’re pushing things off. For example, Delta was supposed to take delivery of both 787s and A350s, but late last year it was announced that they canceled their 787 order altogether. Buying planes used is an increasingly good deal, given the number of airlines retiring planes that are still fairly new. Long term I suspect that will become a much more popular way for airlines to acquire planes.

So don’t expect to see any A350s in American’s fleet anytime soon…

  1. These were originally ordered by US Airways which was to be the A350 launch customer. While this further delay is frustrating, long suffering PHL based customers continue to see no benefit from the AA merger. TATL 757’s still with business class seats that were moved from the A330 when it went flat bed pre-merger. No real MCE on any TATL aircraft (just exit rows and bulkheads with no actual change, in name only). No power, IFE, wifi on 757’s, just new exterior paint and an AA logo glued over the space of the former US logo. No 787 or 77W at PHL. The only bright spot at PHL is Qatar and their A350’which has become my go to for international travel. Much nicer aircraft and superior service.

  2. Blame this one on publicly traded companies…it’s a pretty smart business decision to buy used planes right now, why annoy shareholders by buying up stuff that will be available on the used market eventually?

  3. Hmmm…

    Is travel beginning to slow down overall, or are the legacies simply losing market share to the new LCCs?

    Possibly related: I saw that Rasmussen Polls reported today that 42% of Americans said that they are much less likely to go to Europe in the next 6 months due to the recent terror attacks.

  4. Maybe if they wait long enough they can buy 757-Neo’s or whatever replacement. I’ll just be sad to see the last of the MD-80’s retire. Heck, maybe they could lease some A380’s and actually have capacity for award seats to Europe 🙂

  5. With Fuel being cheap AA why dump the 767s since they are paid for. But if AA wants to expand it’s not a smart move, since the A350’s will give it a range to new cities.

  6. they should take delivery and start flying them coast to coast. Enough of those singe isles aircraft between JFK/MIA to LAX/SFO. Its crazy. Every single flight is packed, not an empty seat available, nowhere to walk to stretch out and lines as much as 10 people long form at the front ad back of the aircraft, waiting on line to go to the bathroom. In the 80’s & ’90’s almost every coast to coast flight was a wide body jet, 747, DC-10, l-1011, 767. BRING BACK THE WIDE BODY AIRCRAFT ON DOMESTIC FLIGHT. NOW AA KNOWS WHAT TO DO WITH THESE A-350’s.

  7. Robert Hanson – Combined with the Europeans cutting travel to America because of Trump and the fierce competition across the Atlantic, that could become quite a big problem…

  8. @Robert Hanson: Most Americans are completely ignorant when it comes to world affairs. I also have heard people say they’re avoiding Europe due to terrorist activity. The United States has far more violent crime than Europe.

    It’s part of our travel policy at my office to get people on foreign carriers as quickly as possible, even if it’s a little more inconvenient at the connecting cities. I know of only one employee who has complained about this. The rest of us completely agree with it. Life gets much better once you get off domestic metal. I’d imagine we can’t be the only people with this mindset.

  9. This points again to the fact that their employees are more important than their customers. Cut plane upgrades and move the money to salary increases. It is pretty obvious that the unions are in charge.

  10. AlexS: my experience flying foreign airlines shows they aren’t always better than the US based airlines

  11. Stephen: Unless your talking about Air Koryo, I can’t think of any other foreign airline that I’d be afraid of being beaten up and dragged off.

  12. We like the 767 and MD-80. Having to fly coach as a couple, we like not having to share with a third person.

  13. Why spend money on new aircraft to enhance the customer experience when you can throw that money on raises for employees.

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