American Airlines’ first Airbus A319 is prepping for its debut in September, as it proceeds through final assembly at one of the airframer’s factories.
The Fort Worth-based carrier unveiled a picture of its first A319 on its Facebook page today. The aircraft’s tail is adorned with the stylised waving flag of American’s new soaring spirit livery. It is slated for delivery in July.
The aircraft marks the first Airbus narrowbody for American, having long eschewed the European airframer since it famously signed an exclusivity agreement with Boeing in the 1990s.
American also confirmed the first destinations for its A319s today. From a base at Dallas-Fort Worth, it will fly to Charlotte, Cleveland, Memphis and Wichita with about six aircraft from 16 September.
Dayton and Lubbock flights will be added on 1 October; El Paso, Huntsville, McAllen and Toronto on 14 October; San Salvador on 1 November; and, Gunnison/Crested Butte, Jackson Hole and Vail on 19 December, says American.
Interestingly, only the later destinations could be described as the “high altitude” airports that American said it planned to use the A319s to last year.
The carrier plans to have 15 A319s and five Airbus A321s – which will be used on transcontinental flights between New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) and both Los Angeles and San Francisco – in service by the end of the year.
American has 130 A319s and A321s on order but says that it has yet to decide how many of each variant to take – despite comments from engine manufacturer International Aero Engines that it will take 65 of each.