The Evolution Of Boeing 767 Operations In The US

The substantial decline of the B767-300ER in the US – not helped by American Airlines retiring the type – means that the gap between the aircraft and the heavier -400ER has narrowed greatly. The B767-400ER, use of which has barely changed in the past decade, is deployed on 51 routes this summer. There are 18 active aircraft, with Delta using all but one.

The Evolution Of Boeing 767 Operations In The US
Delta has the most B767-300ER/-400ER services touching the US. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

The B767-400ER has always played second fiddle to the smaller B767-300ER in the US, but the pair are coming closer together in use. This summer, just 3.8 million seats separate them, down from nearly 11 million in 2011 and 7.6 million in pre-pandemic 2019.

The B767-200/200ER, meanwhile, is now almost extinct in scheduled passenger service, with only Eastern Airlines using it. However, the aircraft played an important role in American’s network, although its end came in 2014 following the introduction of the A321T.

The big and pronounced decline of the 763 has aided the closing gap with the heavier 764. This was helped in no small measure by American Airlines retiring the type in 2020. This summer, just eight airlines will use 763 to, from, and within the US, including Austrian, down from 17 airlines in summer 2019 (S19).

The Evolution Of Boeing 767 Operations In The US
The 764 has 37% of the capacity of the 763 this summer, up from 22% in S19. Source: OAG Schedules Analyzer

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The decline of the 763

The B767-300/300ER had 14 million seats touching the US in S11. Some 24 airlines used it, with American the leader with almost five million. American deployed it on 32 routes, particularly from Miami, Dallas Fort Worth, and JFK. 20 of those 32 routes were international, and again Miami was the top airport.

Not surprisingly, the 763 has typically been used more internationally than domestically. Across all carriers, almost six in ten seats were abroad in S11, which increased to just shy of nine in ten by S19. In that pre-coronavirus year, 17 airlines used it on international trips to/from the US. Delta was by far the leading operator by then, with Detroit to Paris CDG the top route.

The Evolution Of Boeing 767 Operations In The US
Austrian uses the -300ER from Vienna to O’Hare, Dulles, JFK, and Newark. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

How things have changed

S21 shows how things have changed. With so many border closures, quarantines, uncertainty, and more, the proportion of international flights by the 763 has scaled back dramatically to just over half. Indeed, previous analysis by Simple Flying found that domestic widebody use this summer has risen by 12%, with the B767-300ER the most common type.

ch-aviation.com shows that there are currently 111 US-registered passenger 767-300ERs. Of these, 71 – about 64% – are active across six operators, of which only three have scheduled services:

  1. Delta: 31 active
  2. United: 22
  3. Eastern Airlines: four
The Evolution Of Boeing 767 Operations In The US
United remains an important user of the B767-300ER. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

18 active B767-400s

It’s quite a different picture for the larger -400. According to ch-aviation.com, 37 are US-registered, obviously all with Delta and United. However, only 18 – some 49% – are active, spread across Delta (17) and United (one).

If both operators are combined, there are some 51 B767-400ER routes this summer, of which Delta has 46. Some 19 are from Atlanta, while JFK sees 13, seven international. In contrast, it’s five routes apiece for Detroit, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City. Simple Flying found that Salt Lake is Delta’s only growing hub.

The Evolution Of Boeing 767 Operations In The US
Atlanta has 19 routes by the -400ER this summer. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Where to fly to the -400?

The number-one route for the 764 this summer is JFK to Los Angeles, with the top-15 shown below.

  1. JFK to Los Angeles
  2. Atlanta-San Diego
  3. JFK-London Heathrow
  4. Atlanta-Denver
  5. Atlanta-Salt Lake City
  6. Atlanta-Las Vegas
  7. Atlanta-Portland
  8. Atlanta-San Juan
  9. Atlanta-Seattle
  10. Seattle-London Heathrow
  11. JFK-Sao Paulo
  12. Atlanta-Santiago
  13. JFK-Nice
  14. Salt Lake-Honolulu
  15. JFK-Brussels
The Evolution Of Boeing 767 Operations In The US
The 764’s domestic routes this summer. Image: OAG.

On a random mid-August day, JFK-Los Angeles will have four B767-400ER departures, the same number in 2019. They’ll depart JFK at 07:00, 10:45, 15:45, and 19:10. Returning, they’ll arrive into JFK at 08:30, 17:45, 19:59, and 23:42.

Are you planning to fly the 767 this summer? Let us know in the comments!

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