American Airlines faces a dilemma with its inheritance from US Airways – what to do about an order for 22 A359’s.
The order is too small for American to justify its lack of economy of scale, it needs, according to its often vague CEO Doug Parker, to be that the airline orders far more – 50+, or it needs to look at the A330-900neo or the 787-9.
All three have the right seating capacity – just under 300 passengers – but it will come down to cost and in-service lifespan for the final decision.
The aim is to replace all of the current 772 and A330 fleet with a single aircraft type to do the job. There’s every sign the A359 is too expensive for American’s tastes.
The first aircraft is due for delivery in 2020 and at the 18 month point the manufacturer will be looking to place long lead time orders for parts, so American has at best 12 months to make up its mind.