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American Returns Last COVID-Grounded 737 to Service

The airline grounded several of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft in 2020.

An American 737-800 in Phoenix (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

American returned its last Boeing 737-800 grounded as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to revenue service last week. Registered as N920AN, the nearly 25-year-old aircraft had been in storage for more than four years.

In 2020, the Fort Worth-based airline placed over 70 so-called ‘Block 1’ 737-800 aircraft – those delivered from 1999 to 2001 – into long-term storage programs. American gradually returned these aircraft to revenue service as demand for air travel increased during the pandemic.

According to Cirium Fleet Analyzer data, N920AN was the last remaining 737-800 in a long-term storage program within American’s fleet. In November 2023, it ferried from the carrier’s storage facility in Roswell, N.M. to Jacksonville, Fla.’s Cecil Airport, presumably for interior retrofits and return to service checks.

An American 737-800 and MD-80 in Roswell, N.M. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

As first pointed out by aviation watchdog JonNYC on Twitter/X, the 737 re-entered revenue service on April 8, 2024. American has over 300 Boeing 737-800 in addition to nearly 60 737 MAX jets.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, American retired a handful of fleet types in 2020, including the Embraer E190, Airbus A330, Boeing 757, and Boeing 767. The airline also placed several aircraft into storage programs as worldwide travel demand slumped.

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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