American Airlines has announced that it is adding two new routes from DFW to Hong Kong and Shanghai and has done so with great fanfare.
The Shanghai route will use American’s 777-200ER but the Hong Kong route will make use of AA’s newest 777, the 777-300ER.
When American Airlines ordered the 777-300ER a few years ago, it felt like a very, very good decision. In fact, in some ways it simply defied imagination that AA was the US airline that finally decided to buy the -300ER (none had done so at that time and none have made such an order today.)
I’m a fervent believer that international routes will trend towards longer, thinner routes. I do not believe that either the 747 or the A380 has a very strong place in the airline world today. But I also think that the 777 fits neatly into that high capacity, long route structure that so many airlines are using to make big money from.
And American is clearly doing very, very well using the -300ER. So well that one does wonder at the reticence to purchase being shown by both United and Delta. Yes, each still has the 747-400 and I would argue that neither is well served by that aircraft. Particularly in light of the age and the changing structure of routes.
So let’s celebrate something that you hear very rarely from me: Congratulations to American Airlines for a very wise decision.