American Airlines has sent a brand new Boeing 787-8 into storage. Making the move on March 31st, the aircraft initially flew to the airline’s largest base in Dallas after delivery. There, it spent some time on the ground before being ferried to storage in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Aircraft and flight details
On March 17th, a brand new Boeing 787-8, registered as N870AX, flew from Boeing’s center at Everett to Dallas-Fort Worth per data from Flightradar24. However, the aircraft has yet to operate a revenue passenger flight. After just under two weeks on the ground, American flew the plane to Tulsa, where it was stored along with other aircraft.
Simple Flying reached out to American Airlines to learn more about the aircraft. A spokesperson confirmed that the plane is being stored amid a global decline in demand. Upfront, the aircraft features an enhanced business cabin that will make the ride for passengers more comfortable – at least once the aircraft enters commercial revenue service.
This move is hardly surprising. American has dramatically reduced its current flying schedule and has cut 60% of its overseas capacity this summer. While it is unclear when and where this aircraft will fly, it likely will not take off until next month at the soonest– if then.
Why not delay delivery?
Aircraft deliveries are, by nature, fluid. Paperwork, last-minute delays, and environmental factors can impact when an airline receives a new plane. Airlines do have the option to delay aircraft deliveries– although sometimes it comes with a penalty. However, in this case, it appears that the aircraft was already completed and ready to fly. So, it makes sense for American to take on the new plane and fly it straight to storage along with most other 787s.
New planes are usually exciting for passengers and crew alike. Despite sitting on the ground for a bit, this 787 will be just like new when it comes time to fly passengers. Plus, one bonus for American is that, once the airline resumes more long-haul flying, this can be one of the first aircraft to leave its temporary parking for revenue flights.
The Boeing 787-8
The -8 variant is the smallest version of the 787. It is a suitable replacement for aging 767s. In fact, American has indicated at least one swap on a route to Montevideo, Uruguay, from Miami. Previously flown with a 767, customers will soon see a 787-8 operate the route. The 787-8 will also operate on a new route between Miami and Rio de Janeiro from 2021 to feed a new partnership with GOL.
Three-cabin 787-8s feature Flagship Business, Premium Economy, and Main Cabin (including extra-legroom) experiences seat with a total of 234 passengers. Meanwhile, the 767-300 only seats 209 and does not have a dedicated Premium Economy cabin– only extra-legroom economy.
What do you think about American flying a brand new 787-8 straight to storage? Let us know in the comments!