The American Airlines Fleet In 2021

American Airlines is the biggest airline in the world by several measures, such as revenue, passengers flown, and passenger-kilometers flown. The Fort Worth-based carrier also operates the largest fleet globally, flying just shy of 900 jets. Let’s take a closer look at the planes it operates.

American-Airbus-A321
From the A319 to the 777, American Airlines has an aircraft for every mission it flies. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

This article will examine the carrier’s mainline fleet, excluding subsidiaries like American Eagle, which also flies hundreds of jets. Data in this article is courtesy of Planespotters.net.

Small to big

Like all US mainline carriers, American operates a diverse fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft to support its vast network. However, the pandemic has forced some consolidation at the airline, and it now only flies four aircraft families. However, don’t be fooled by this. American Airlines is still the largest airline in the world, with 895 aircraft.

Here’s a look at the current fleet:

  • 303 Boeing 737-800s
  • 218 Airbus A321-200s
  • 133 A319s
  • 48 A320-200s
  • 47 777-200s
  • 41 737 MAX 8s
  • 39 A321neos
  • 24 787-8s
  • 22 787-9s
  • 20 777-300ERs
The American Airlines Fleet In 2021
The 737-800 is the backbone of the domestic and medium-haul operations, with 303 examples currently. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Over the years, American has pushed towards longer flights with narrowbody aircraft, bringing down the total widebodies in service. Today, only 13% of the fleet consists of twin-aisle jets, which are deployed on long-haul services and key domestic transcontinental routes. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, you’re likely to found yourself on a narrowbody.

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Goodbye

The pandemic has been hard on American Airlines, which has been struggling with massive debts and low revenues. This forced the airline to ax as many jets as economically feasible and only keep the most efficient options. American said goodbye to its aging 767s, 757s, and A330s, all of which were outpaced by new replacements.

In an interview with Simple Flying, American’s Chief Revenue Officer, Vasu Raju, said these planes were used only for opportunistic flying on international seasonal routes, ones which disappeared during the pandemic. This meant there was no longer a business case to keep these planes on any longer.

American B767
While United and Delta held onto their 767s, American has moved on from the decades-old airframe. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Considering international travel will take years to recover, American is not in immediate danger of falling behind in the race. However, as United adds ambitious European routes for next summer, American might find itself lacking some of the equipment it needs.

Exciting future

Looking to the future, American’s fleet has some exciting additions in the pipeline. In the delivery queue remain 13 788s and 30 789s, and 51 737 MAX 8s. Some of these have been delayed due to an agreement in April and Boeing’s 787 delivery pause. However, these jets will ensure American has more than enough planes to compete in the international market in the cheapest way.

The American Airlines Fleet In 2021
The 787 will soon become the backbone of the long-haul fleet once deliveries pick up the pace. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

A few years out, American is looking to take delivery of 31 A321neos and 50 A321XLRs. The latter will fuel a huge expansion on transatlantic routes with its record-beating range. For now, American Airlines is looking to the future to enlarge its fleet and remain agile.

What do you think about American’s fleet in 2021? Let us know in the comments!

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