American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) is looking at options for adding second-hand A319-100s to its fleet to bridge the capacity gap as the carrier prepares for the retirement of its McDonnell DouglasMD-80s in 2019, View from the Wing has reported citing an employee Q&A session at the carrier.
“Newer model used aircraft are absolutely something we have an eye out for. As we take a look at where A319s are available we are going to be out there after them, because we want them. They are a little bit larger than we need in terms of total seating capacity but when you take a look at the operating economics when you put it into our fleet, it works really well,” President Robert Isom has said.
He added that while in general the carrier is focused on adding brand new aircraft to its fleet, Airbus production is currently geared towards larger variants A320 and A321, as they are in bigger demand globally. This makes second-hand units a better solution for American.
According to the ch-aviation fleets module, the carrier currently operates 125 A319-100s, the largest fleet of the type in the world. All the aircraft are configured for 124 seats. AA also operates forty-eight A320s and 219 A321s, and has a further 100 A321neos on order from Airbus.
AA has previously announced it wants to retire all remaining forty-five MD-80s, including ten MD-82s and thirty-five MD-83s, by the end of 2019. The aircraft can carry up to 140 passengers in the carrier’s configuration.
According to the ch-aviation capacity module, AA currently operates 1,286 weekly departures with its fleet of MD-80s, offering a total of 180,040 seats per week. The aircraft operate mostly out of Dallas/Fort Worth with a small number of jets also based out of Chicago O’Hare and St. Louis Lambert Int’l.