Quick Airline Information:

✈Airline IATA* code: AA
✈Airline ICAO* code: AAL                        
✈Founded: 15 April 1926. (earliest predecessor airline: American Airways, Inc.)       
✈Website: www.aa.com
✈Alliance: One World
Operations and Destinations 🌍
Fleet ✈️
Photo Slide 📷
Safety Video 🎬
Airline reviews 
*IATA: (International Air Transport Association)
*ICAO: (International Civil Aviation Organization)

History Menu:

✈Airline Beginnings

American Airlines is one of the oldest surviving airlines of aviation history, one which has witnessed and been challenged by numerous factors. Not only within the aviation industry, but also external factors like political, economical, and global events which have changed the world of aviation as we know it.The airline has merged with several carriers since its formation in 1930 (which itself happened by a merger of 80 carriers). These include Trans Caribbean Airways in 1971, Air California in 1987, Reno Air in 1999, Trans World Airlines (TWA) in 2001 and US Airways in 2015.

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The story of "AA" comes a long way in history and can date back to 15 April 1926 when the Robertson Aircraft Company of Missouri, which employed Charles Lindbergh to pilot the first "American Airlines" flight, carrying U.S. mail,from St. Louis, Missouri, to Chicago, Illinois. American Airways, it’s name at that time, was developed from a conglomeration of 82 small airlines through acquisitions in 1930 and reorganisations: initially, American Airways was a common brand by a number of independent carriers. These included Southern Air Transport in Texas, Southern Air Fast Express (SAFE) in the western United States, Universal Aviation in the Midwest, Thompson Aeronautical Services, and Colonial Air Transport in the Northeast. Like many early airlines, American earned its reputation by carrying U.S. Mail. By 1933 American Airways operated a transcontinental route network serving 72 cities, mostly in the Northeastern, Midwestern, and Southwestern United States.

In 1934 American Airways was acquired by E. L. Cord, who renamed it "American Air Lines". Smith worked with Donald Douglas to develop the DC-3, which American Airlines was first to fly, in 1936. American's DC-3 made it the first airline to be able to operate a route that could earn a profit solely by transporting passengers; other carriers could not earn a profit without U.S. Mail. American operated daily overnight transcontinental service between New York and Los Angeles through Dallas/Fort Worth and other intermediate stops, advertising the service as an "all-year southern route."

The Dc-3 was the working horse of the early American Airlines, opening up routes all over the country from 1936 to 1949. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

When World War II started in 1939 American Airlines devoted over half of its resources to the army. American DC-3s shuttled the Signal Corps and supplies to Brazil for the transatlantic ferry. After the war in 1945 American returned to its normal operations, but was in search to completely retool the company with modern equipment. The modernisation went smoothly and quickly, with the incorporation of new DC-4, DC-6, and Convair 240, this led that by 1949 American had already sold its last DC-3s.

After WWII ended in 1945, American Airlines operated the Convair 240 from 1948. (Photo:Wikipedia.org)
✈Expansion and Development

American made the first scheduled non-stop transcontinental flights in 1953 with the 80-passenger DC-7. It was introduced on its New York-Los Angeles route and was the first airliner to provide nonstop transcontinental service in both directions.It was the fastest transport aircraft in service, at the time.

In 1952 the DC-7 was a regular sight at many American Airports. (Photo:marylmartin.com)

But Like other piston-engine airliners the Dc-7, was made obsolete by the introduction of turbine-engine like the Boeing 707 or DC-8. In 1955 American ordered its first jetliners, Boeing 707s, which were delivered in 1959. For the short and medium haul it ordered the Boeing 727, delivered in 1965. With larger and faster aircraft on the drawing boards, American became interested in, and eventually purchased also jumbo B-747s in the late 1960s. 

American ordered its first jetliners, Boeing 707s in 1955, delivered in 1959. (Photo:avgeekery.com)
From 1969 American operated the "jumbo" B747-100. (Photo:Planepictures.net)

On October 1, 1982, the creation of a holding company, the AMR Corporation was founded, which included American Airlines. This move would not affect daily business, but would “provide the company with access to sources of financing that otherwise might be unavailable. 
American updated its jetliner fleet to meet the new conditions in the industry during the 1980s by introducing the B-767s in 1982 and MD-80s in 1983. The newer aircraft had two major advantages over other wide-bodied aircraft: a two-person cockpit crew and higher fuel efficiency. The Boeing 767 went on to become the workhorse of the American long-haul fleet, flying transcontinental and transatlantic routes for decades.

The Boeing 767-200, new in 1982 was used for high demand domestic and international flights. (Photo:airwaysmag.com)
American took delivery of the MD-80 in 1983 to replace older B727. (Photo:aeronauticsonline.com)

In the late 1980s, American Airlines opened three hubs for north-south traffic. San Jose International Airport was added after American purchased AirCal. American built a terminal and runway at Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Nashville International Airport was also added as a hub. In 1987 it received the first jets from Airbus, the A300 which was in use till 2010. The end of the 1980's also saw the Boeing B737-100 come into serive in 1987 and the Boeing B757 in 1989. 

In 1990, American Airlines bought the assets of TWA's operations at London Heathrow. As well lower fuel prices and a favourable business climate led to higher profits in the 1990s which saw American grow a lot it's business and presence. 

The first Airbus plane to join American was the A300 in 1987. (Photo:flickr.com)
In 1989, the introduction of the Boeing B757 helped the airline cut costs as well as opening new markets thanks to the reach of the aircraft. (Photo:Wikimedia.org)

Miami International Airport became a hub after American Airlines bought Central and South American routes ("El Interamericano") from Eastern Air Lines in 1990 (inherited from Braniff International Airways but originated by Pan American-Grace Airways which was known as Panagra). Through the 1990s, American Airlines expanded its network in Latin America to become the dominant U.S. carrier in the region. In 1991 the airline received the MD-11 which it operated to trunk routes to south America, Europe and trans-pacific. 

In 1991 American operated the MD-11 which operated trunk routes to South America, Europe and trans-pacific routes. (Photo:Jetphotos.net)

On October 15, 1998, American Airlines became the first airline to offer electronic ticketing in the 44 countries it served. In 1999, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Canadian Airlines, and Qantas founded the global airline alliance Oneworld. 


In the 1990's three new hubs were abandoned, some San Jose facilities were sold to Reno Air and Raleigh/Durham sold to Midway Airlines. (Midway went out of business in 2003). American Airlines purchased Reno Air in February 1999 and integrated its operations on 31 August 1999 but did not resume hub operations in San Jose. American discontinued most of Reno Air's routes, and sold most of the Reno Air aircraft, as it did with Air California 12 years earlier. At this time American also received it's first Boeing 737-800 next generation as well the first of the Boeing B777-200 in 1999. 

In 1999 the first Boeing 777-200 appeared in the classic American Airlines livery. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

In 1998 American was looking for further merges, that led to Trans World Airlines who was already close to final bankruptcy to be taken over by American Airlines. (it would file for its third bankruptcy as part of the purchase agreement and the take over of its hub in St. Louis). In April 2001, American Airlines completed acquisition of TWA's assets. At about the same time, American Eagle accepted delivery of 15 44-seat regional jets (ERJ-140) manufactured by Embraer of Brazil. American also announced plans to accelerate retirement of 36 aircraft: 19 DC-9s, 12 Boeing 727s, 4 MD-11s and the Fokker 100.

In April 2001 Trans World Airlines (TWA) was taken over by American Airlines. (Photo: Planepictures.net)

Then the unimaginable happened... when two planes of American Airlines were used on the unexpected events in the morning of September 11, 2001. American Airlines began losing money in the economic downturn that followed the September 11, attacks. Severe measures were put in place, wage and benefit agreement cuts with the unions, the St. Louis hub was downsized, early retirement of planes, terminated unprofitable routes, reduced seat pitch, ended three-class service on many international flights, and standardised its fleet. 

The events of September 11, 2001, changed the world of aviation.

To make things worse, American had repeated run-ins with the FAA regarding maintenance of its MD-80 fleet, cancelling 1,000 flights to inspect wire bundles. This made American to begin the process of replacing its older MD-80 jets with Boeing 737s and later on with Airbus A319s and A321s.

However, from 2003 to 2005, the airline also expanded into new markets, including Ireland, India, and mainland China. On July 20, 2005, American announced a quarterly profit for the first time in 17 quarters. 

The 2008 financial crisis again placed strain on the airline. On July 2, 2008, American reduced its workforce by 950 flight attendants, as well as the retirement of 20 MD-80 aircraft. Also all Airbus A300 jets were retired by the end of August 2009. American also closed its Kansas City overhaul base, inherited from TWA on September 24, 2010.

American started replacing older MD-80 with new factory build B737-800 New Generation from 2003. (Photo: reddit.com)

American was a key player in the 2009–11 restructuring of Japan Airlines. In September 2009, AMR Corporation invested in the financially struggling JAL. This led to an enhanced joint venture between American and JAL beginning April 1, 2011. American also began an interlining partnership with JetBlue Airways in March 2010 which covered 27 JetBlue destinations not served by American and 13 American international destinations from New York and Boston. 


American expanded its service to Asia and the Pacific. It was one of the initial US bidders in February 2010 to serve Tokyo's Haneda Airport, and was awarded rights to serve Haneda from New York JFK, however it later cancelled its JFK-Haneda service in October 2013 due to the service being "quite unprofitable". 

In order to make a successful turnaround, American placed the "largest aircraft order in history" in July 2011, purchasing 460 "next generation" Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft for delivery between 2013 and 2022. These aircraft were designated to replace American's short and medium-haul fleet of 757-200, 767-200, and MD-80 aircraft, eventually consolidating the fleet around four aircraft families (Boeing 737, Airbus A320, Boeing 787, and Boeing 777). 

In 2011, the biggest aircraft order was placed for new Boeing and Airbus planes. The A321 first arrived in Novemeber 2013. (Photo: Planepictures.net)
✈Recent History and Growth

However its expansion came at a cost to AMR Corporation, then the parent company of American, big losses left no choice but to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on November 29, 2011, and American began capacity cuts on July 1, 2012 due to the grounding of several aircraft associated with its bankruptcy and lack of pilots due to retirements. American's regional airline, American Eagle, was to retire 35 to 40 regional jets as well as its Saab turboprop fleet. American ceased its service to Delhi, India in March 2012 as well as other unprofitable routes. 


In January 2012, US Airways Group, the parent company of US Airways, expressed interest in taking over AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines. With AMR under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, American Airlines had been looking to merge with another airline. Earlier in July, a bankruptcy court filing stated that US Airways was an American Airlines creditor and "prospective merger partner". 


Meanwhile American also began service between Los Angeles and Shanghai in 2011 and between Dallas/Fort Worth and Seoul in 2013 and from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to both Shanghai and Hong Kong in the summer of 2014, providing the first ever nonstop service between Dallas/Fort Worth and China. 

On January 17, 2013, American introduced a new logo, livery, and brand image, unveiling the livery on its first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which went into service later that month. 

On January 17, 2013, American introduced a new livery, the first was worn on its first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. (Photo: Planepictures.net)

On February 14, 2013, AMR Corporation and US Airways Group officially announced that the two companies would merge to form the largest airline (and airline holding company) creating the new holding company American Airlines Group, Inc. On April 8, 2015, after a long battle in the courts, the Federal Aviation Administration awarded American Airlines and US Airways a single operating certificate. The US Airways brand was discontinued on October 17, 2015 and all flights branded as "American Airlines". 

American launched daily service from Los Angeles to Tokyo-Haneda on February 11, 2016 using their Boeing 787 aircraft. American also added daily service from Los Angeles to Sydney, Auckland and Hong Kong on their flagship Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 787-8 (to Auckland), returning to Australia and New Zealand for the first time since the 1990s.

Boeing 787-8's opened up new routes in 2016 after American Airlines become a stronger airline after its merger with US Airways. (Photo: Planepictures.net)

American added services from Los Angeles to Beijing on November 5, 2017, and has plans for more expansion in the Asia-Pacific region in the coming years.

History source: Wikipedia.org

Operations and Destinations 🌍:

American and its affiliates operate from major hubs across the USA, including Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington DC, to nearly 350 destinations* in more than 50 countries.American Airlines has an extensive network all over the world, the following list includes the correct destinations* at the time of publishing:

Region 🗺️ Destinations 🌍🌎🌏
 ✈USA (domestic)Anchorage, Phoenix, Tucson, Bentonville, Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, Ontario, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Ana, Colorado Springs, Denver, Hayden, Montrose, Vail, Hartford, New Haven, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Atlanta, Honolulu, Kahului, Kailua-Kona, Lihue, Boise, Chicago, Indianapolis, Des Moines, Wichita, Louisville, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Portland, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Joplin, Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, Bozeman, Omaha, Las Vegas, Reno, Newark, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilmington, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Eugene, Portland, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Memphis, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Norfolk, Richmond, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Appleton, Milwaukee, Jackson, Saint Croix, Saint Thomas
 ✈EuropeDubrovnik, Prague, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Athens, Budapest, Reykjavik, Dublin, Shannon, Bologna, Milan, Rome, Venice, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Barcelona, Madrid, Zürich, Edinburgh, London, Manchester
 ✈In the America's (North, Central and South)Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Saint John's, Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Oranjestad, Nassau, Bridgetown, Belize City, St. George's Parish, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Kralendijk, Brasília, Manaus, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, George Town, Santiago, Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Medellín, Pereira, Liberia, San José, Havana, Holguín, Santa Clara, Santiago de Cuba, Varadero, Willemstad, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo, Guayaquil, Quito, San Salvador, Pointe-à-Pitre, St. George's, Guatemala City Georgetown  (Guyana), Cap-Haitien, Port-au-Prince, Roatán, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, Kingston, Montego Bay, Fort-de-France, San José del Cabo, Mexico City, Zihuatanejo, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Cancún, Cozumel, Managua, Panama City, Lima, San Juan, Basseterre, Vieux Fort, Kingstown, Philipsburg, Port of Spain, Providenciales, Montevideo, Caracas and Maracaibo
Sydney, Auckland
Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul

*Destination list is for reference only. Please check directly with the airline for updates. 

*Note some destinations are only seasonal.*Correct info as of  October 2018. 

Fleet ✈️:

The American Airlines fleet is one of the biggest and most complex fleets operated by any other carrier in the planet. It's fleet consists of just under 1000 aircraft in total and are based all over the United States in American's hubs. With such a vast fleet size the airline is always changing aircraft between routes so it can offer the correct size of aircraft dictating on demand, season or other requirements such as the airport handling ability or runway lengths. 

Due to the size of the United States, operating short haul as well as long haul aircraft is very common in domestic services. Therefore it depends on the length of the route, which aircraft will be deployed. The American Airlines fleet* consists of:

Network 🌐 Aircraft ✈️
✈Short and Regional flights (USA and Canada)CRJ200, CRJ700, CRJ900, Embraer E140, E145, E175 and E190 (Embraer jets to be phased out from 2019 until 2020) (operated by American Eagle). 
✈Short and Medium haul (Domestic and International) Airbus A319-100, A320-200, A321-200, A321neo (Deliveries will begin in 2019). Boeing B737-800, B737 MAX8,  McDonnell Douglas MD-82, (To be replaced by Boeing 737 MAX 8 and Airbus A321neo in 2019).
✈Medium and Long haul (Domestic and International)
Boeing 757-200 (Older aircraft will be phased out from 2018 to 2020), Airbus A330-200, A330-300, Boeing 767-300ER (Six to be phased out in 2019, another 13 to be phased out in 2020 to be replaced by Boeing 787-8 and Boeing 787-9), Boeing 777-200ER (Older aircraft to be replaced by Boeing 787-9 from 2023) and Boeing 787-8.
✈Long haul (Overseas)
Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing B787-8, B787-9. Airbus A330. 
*Correct fleet info as of  October 2018. 

American Airlines Photo Slide 📷:​

American Airlines Safety Video (B777-300)  🎬:​

Reviews ⭐:

One of the most reliable and experienced airlines of the world👎Poor selection of destinations in Asia
Best airline to fly to America with 95 domestic destinations for connections. 👎Limited flights to Europe to main capitals, with many others only operating seasonally. 
Member of the One World Alliance for millage redemption. 👎Domestic flights food and drink catering for purchase only. 
A huge fleet size,  making it good for back up or spares in case of unpredictable circumstances. 👎 Older types of planes still in operation. (B757, B767, retiring in coming years). 
Good selection of destinations in Central America and the Caribbean.
Good customer service and informative flights 
Number of cabin's offered. (classes of travel from first to economy)