Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

The real news from US Airways’ quarterly earnings call

Yes, they made good money last quarter, but that doesn’t come as a big surprise. Much more interesting is the airline’s fleet plan for 2013. US Airways is getting five Airbus A330-200 and 16 A321s next year. They are also retiring 18 Boeing 737-400 and three early A320s. The A330-200s is a widebody while the other types are narrowbodies, with the A321 being larger than A320s and 737-400s. The question had been when US Airways’ old 767-200s go away and this provides the answer.

US Airways will use two of the five new A330-200s to start Charlotte – Sao Paulo, Brazil service, provided they can get all the required Brazilian approvals. Another of the A332s will be used to add a new route to Europe, which hasn’t been announced yet. This could be either from Philadelphia or Charlotte — if it’s from Charlotte, only Manchester, England would be a reasonable. The last two A332s will be used as upgrades on existing routes, which in turn frees up a pair of 767-200 to replace 757s, with the 757s being used domestically again.

The airline also is due to take three A330-200 in 2014. Since it doesn’t appear that any 767s will be going away, that means that new European or South American service could also be possible then. The next widybody deliveries after that aren’t until 2017 through 2019, when 22 A350s are scheduled to arrive. Obviously, 10 of those planes will serve as 767 replacements.

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