In its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Friday, American said it expects a capacity increase of approximately 1% on its mainline routes in 2015, much of which is the result of a 3% reduction in departures.
Aside from higher fuel costs, there is nothing that affects an airline’s revenue more than flying empty seats around. Analysts almost unanimously target capacity as a profit signal, and adding capacity, especially at the legacy carriers, needs to be accompanied by increased routes in order to maintain profit levels. Friday’s announcement will be greeted with cheers from airline analysts.
For Boeing, the announcement defers delivery of four 787s from 2016 to 2017 and one 787 from 2016 to 2018. American had six 787s in its fleet at the end of the second quarter and is expected to have a total of 17 by the end of this year.
American also deferred delivery of 10 A320 family planes from 2017 and 25 A320neo family planes from 2018 until 2021 to 2023. At the end of the second quarter, American had 55 A320s in its fleet and said it expects to end the year with 54.
Deliveries of the A320neos are expected to begin in November of this year. American has ordered a total of 100 A321neos from Airbus with no delivery date specified. The airline had orders for 38 of the current A321 outstanding at the end of June.
(Paul Ausick - 24/7 Wall St.)