American Airlines may convert A350 order to A330neo or 787
Fort Worth - The A350 seems to be the new source of a headache for the European manufacturer, which has been accumulating some setbacks in recent months.
Azul has dropped the order in favor of the cheaper A330neo. Last year in October, Emirates announced the purchase of the Boeing 787 after canceling an old order of the A350.
Now another major airline may back down from the advanced jet. During the presentation of the 2017 numbers, Derek Kerr, the CFO of American Airlines, revealed that the US company is considering converting orders from the A350 to A330-900neo or even opting for the 787-9.
The problem in American's case involves the lack of commonality with other fleet planes. Unlike the A330neo, which retains many similarities with the A330 already used by the airline, the A350 is a new aircraft and requires training and a significant investment. The company operates 34 787 both dash 8 and 9 versions and increasing that fleet would be more natural and economically viable for the US operator.
When American Airlines acquired US Airways in 2013, the company inherited the 27 A350 order and anticipated the first deliveries in 2014. With the merger in December 2013, American chose to convert the original order of 22 A350-800 for the larger -900 version. Deliveries would then begin in 2017, but American postponed the arrival of the plane to the end of 2018.
Last year, a further delay to 2020. That means the management of the company still has time to decide what to do.