MIAMI — American Airlines is planning to fly its last Boeing 767-200ER flight on May 7, 2014, from Los Angeles to New York JFK as AA30. The aging airplanes are being phased out of American’s fleet as newer Airbus A321 aircraft begin entering the fleet later this year.
The airplanes’ days became numbered back in July of 2011, when Dallas-based American (AA) placed a massive order for 460 new narrow-body jets (plus 465 options). Of those a number were the Airbus A321 Transcontinental. The long narrowbody airplane was announced early on to be a direct replacement to the 767-200 on the carrier’s flagship LAX-JFK route, and eventually San Francisco-JFK. AA is expected to receive the first of these new airplanes in late November, setting up for an entry into service on January 7th of 2014.
The new Airbus planes are expected to be the cream of the on-board product crop in the ongoing transcon-premium wars. The low density configuration is decidedly geared toward the high yield crowd, which American has traditionally dominated. Each airplane will feature 10 seats in first class (1-1 config) and 20 (2-2 config) in business. Both cabins will feature lie-flat seats, the new standard in the US transcontinental market. Main cabin extra and main cabin economy will have 36 seats each.
Unlike the new A321s, American’s 767-200 fleet reflects a cabin of yesteryear. The airplanes are outfitted with ten first class, 30 business class, and 128 economy class seats with a dated product that is unlike any other in the fleet.
American was the second U.S. carrier to introduce the Boeing 767, following United by just a few months in 1982. The Boeing 767 went on to become the workhorse of the American long-haul fleet, flying transcontinental and transatlantic routes for decades. The twelve remaining 767-200ERs are now used primarily on the transcontinental U.S. routes and on one daily MIA-JFK flight. The final flight will mark approximately 31 years since American took delivery of their first 767-200.
The carrier’s fleet of Boeing 767-300s, a stretched version of the original -200, will remain unchanged. AA uses the -300 largely for intercontinental flights out of their Miami, New York JFK, and Chicago hubs.