American to base first A319 crews at Dallas

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American Airlines will base its first Airbus A319s at Dallas-Fort Worth, when deliveries begin in the third quarter.

The Fort Worth-based airline will receive ten of the type in the third quarter and five more in the fourth quarter, as well as five A321s during the fourth quarter, according to a fleet plan released in January.

Mark Maestas, fleet captain for the Airbus A320 family at American, says that cockpit crews for the A319 and A321 will initially be based at Dallas-Fort Worth and potentially at Miami. However, a final decision has not been made, he adds.

The A319s will be used predominantly on routes flown by the airline's Boeing 737-800 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80 fleets, as well as some that are flown by its Boeing 757-200s and Boeing 767s, he says. The aircraft are suited to flying into high altitude airports, for example Vail/Eagle or Jackson Hole, he notes.

Los Angeles or New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) are likely to be a future base for A320 family cockpit crews, as American's A321s will replace Boeing 767-200ERs on flights between JFK and both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Maestas says that the A321 will be used mostly for longer legs than the A319.

American has orders for 130 A319s and A321s - it has yet to disclose the exact number of each type - for delivery through 2017, and 130 A320neo family aircraft from 2017.