The A321neo delivery program certainly got off to an interesting start! After the collapse of Primera Air, there was suddenly an abundance of delivery slots. It seems as though American Airlines will be the next recipients of the A321. Simple Flying has learned from AirlineGeeks that an A321neo has been spotted at Hamburg in the predominately grey livery of American Airlines. The aircraft will be the first of the American Airlines A321 order. While no date for delivery has been given, it is expected that the aircraft will be delivered in the next few weeks.
Third American A321Neo customer.
The new aircraft delivery will make American Airlines the third customer of the A321 in America. This is behind Hawaiian Airlines, who recently retired their B767s, and Alaska Airlines. While Primera Air was supposed to be the launch customer for the A321neo, after their unfortunate demise, the title was handed over to Arkia, the Israeli airline. Following delivery, the A321 is expected to enter service with American Airlines in April this year.
Los Angeles and Phoenix Bases
Once the full fleet has been delivered, American will base their A321s at Los Angeles and Phoenix. Both are already big A321 hubs for the airline. Initially, while American is testing the aircraft it will operate between Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Orlando. As such, the first A321 flight is scheduled to see the aircraft fly between Phoenix and Los Angeles on April 2nd.
Over the summer, American is expected to expand the A321’s operations to cover the Phoenix to Anchorage route. Many also expect that the aircraft will replace a number of current B757 routes, as many carriers look to retire the aircraft. This could include routes to the likes of Hawaii and some of its shorter transatlantic routes.
Why the A321?
The A321neo is being seen by many airlines as the new aircraft for medium haul narrowbody routes. In fact, as such, we’ve seen the aircraft ordered by both La Compagnie and WOW for transatlantic routes (although WOW stops in Iceland). American will offer 196 seats across two cabins on its A321neos. This is an increase on the density of the classic A321s. With the A321, American Airlines will take a step away from the days when in flight entertainment was offered on a screen, and instead offer a streaming service for passenger devices. This will be complemented by high-speed wifi, something that Norwegian is now offering passengers for free.
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