Still no intention to serve Australia, American Airlines reaffirms

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Boeing 777-300ERs to American, yes. To Australia, no.

American Airlines has reaffirmed it has no intention to fly its own aircraft to Australia.

The carrier’s comments follow a remark to Executive Road Warrior that its forthcoming Boeing 777-300ER aircraft had the range to operate routes like Los Angeles to Sydney. That acknowledgement sent speculation into overdrive that American Airlines was considering serving Australia with its own metal.

“I clearly made it known we have no thoughts about flying to Australia ourselves–and there is no consideration of that currently,” American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith tells this page. “Anyone doing otherwise should stand down on their speculation.”

Executive Road Warrior commented to Smith that the 777-300ER could fly from LA to Sydney. Smith replied: “Yes, although we did just apply for the Joint Business Agreement with Qantas and they started flying into and out of DFW, which is great for both of us. We may want to put our ducks in Austrialia with the Qantas guys, but [the 777-300ER] certainly could do that route.”

Smith subsequently said, “My comment was merely a notation that we will be looking for missions for our Boeing 777-300s when they first arrive in 2012.  And I also said that routes to Latin America, Asia, and Europe are the more likely candidates.”

American Airlines had previously stated it had no intention to serve Australia, saying it was short on long-range aircraft and an Australian route posed pilot contractual problems (albeit perhaps exaggerated). The comments were made in the carrier’s application to the United States Department of Transportation for a joint business agreement with Qantas.

Reports have taken remarks to the Executive Road Warrior to mean American does not see Qantas as a premium carrier or hold its oneworld partner in high regard. Smith has dispelled such notions.

“I also said that we are quite pleased with our mutual codeshare relationship with our oneworld partner, Qantas.  So pleased, in fact, we have applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for a Joint Business with Qantas on Australian routes that connect to our American routes in the United States.”

American Airlines this week disclosed it has purchased two further 777-300ER aircraft, bringing its order to eight. It also ordered approximately 460 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft.


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