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Ex-Alaska A321neos Find New Life in American Fleet

The 10 aircraft are set to begin revenue service at American in the coming months.

American is set to add 10 former Alaska A321neos to its fleet in the coming months. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Alaska’s former Airbus A321neos are slowly getting a new life as they join American’s fleet. In September 2023, Alaska retired its last Airbus aircraft, once again becoming an all-Boeing operator.

A month later, American announced its plan to acquire the 10 A321neos from the Seattle-based airline. With the oldest aircraft having been delivered to then Virgin America in January 2018, the sub-fleet is relatively young.

N925VA – a former Alaska A321neo destined for American – in Roswell, N.M. on March 2, 2024. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

“We have signed an agreement with Alaska Airlines to purchase 10 Airbus A321neo aircraft that we expect to join fleet in the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2024,” said American’s Chief Financial Officer Devon May during a third-quarter 2023 earnings call. “Our 2023 aircraft CapEx is now expected to be approximately $1.9 billion, which includes a portion of the Alaska A321neo deliveries.”

The ten aircraft have yet to be placed into revenue service, per data from Flightradar24. According to airline industry insider JonNYC on Twitter/X, the aircraft were originally scheduled to enter service as a batch once all entry-into-service checks were complete.

N929VA is set to join American’s fleet after being acquired from Alaska last year. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

However, this plan appears to have changed. The first ex-Alaska A321neo is reportedly entering revenue service early next month, per JonNYC.

The ten aircraft are scattered around different American maintenance bases, including Pittsburgh, San Salvador, and San Antonio. Flight tracking data also shows a handful in Roswell, N.M.

Former Alaska A321neo aircraft slated to operate for American in the coming months (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Only four entered service with Virgin America, while the remaining six joined the Alaska fleet after the 2018 merger of the two carriers. According to data from ch-aviation, American has 70 A321neo aircraft currently in service, making the Fort Worth-based airline the largest North American customer of the type.

Editor’s Note: Photos in this article were taken at Roswell Air Center on March 2, 2024. 

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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