American Quietly Retires Last Boeing 767-200

Widebody Was Mainstay of Transcon Flights for Past Decade

An American Airlines 767-300 at JFK

An American Airlines 767-300 at JFK

By Paul Riegler on 14 May 2014
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The end of an era came at American Airlines as the wide-body jets serving its flagship transcon routes made their last flights, replaced by smaller, narrow-body Airbus A321Ts.

The airline’s last two Boeing 767-200s, planes that had been deployed on the highly-competitive routes linking New York with Los Angeles and San Francisco, flew their final missions.

The 767 was Boeing’s first wide-body, twin-engine plane as well as its first with a two-crew glass cockpit.  Depending on the variant, it had a capacity from 181 to 375 passengers and a range of 3,850 to 6,385 nautical miles (7,130 to 11,825 kilometers).

First-class seats on an AA 767-200

First-class seats on an AA 767-200

The type began flying at American in 1982 shortly after launch customer United Airlines placed it in commercial service.  The 767 was first used on domestic and transcon routes and later on trans-Atlantic routes when it became the first aircraft to gain regulatory approval for extended overseas routes.

During the 1990s, more flights between Europe and the United States were flown on Boeing 767s than any other type of aircraft.

The final scheduled American Airlines 767-200 flight was Flight 30, which departed Los Angeles International Airport at 11:40 p.m. local time on May 7 and arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport the next morning at 8:01 a.m., six minutes later than planned.

The aircraft, with tail number N319AA, made its first flight on October 22, 1985, retiring after almost 29 years in service.

A second 767-200 completed its final commercial flight as Flight 21, crossing the country from New York, where it departed at 7:10 p.m., arriving 26 minutes early in Los Angeles at 10:04 p.m.

American also has a fleet of 58 Boeing 767-300ERs that are primarily used on flights to Europe and South America.  It is expected to update half of that fleet with new, moder modern interiors and retire the other half within the next few years.

CORRECTION – May 15, 2014

An earlier version of this article had the incorrect tail number for the 767-200 that flew as Flight 21 on May 7. The incorrect information was removed from the article.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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