A330s out of PHL but not 777

I live in the Philadelphia suburbs and PHL is my home airport. I regularly look at flights from and to Philly and I’ve noticed that every evening dozens of long range American Airline flights take off (Obviously going to Europe), but Ive noticed that almost all of these are A330s and there are rarely ever 777s at PHL. The airport can easily accommodate them as British Airways and Lufthansa fly 747s in. Am I missing something or does AA just not fly 777s into PHL


They do not. I believe PHL isn’t big enough of a hub to start sending those beautiful beasts. Not sure though, but I’ve never seen one at KPHL, I’ve only seen a330s. Not fully sure why.


Probably fuel costs. The A330 does the same job, but doesn’t use nearly as much fuel as the 777.


They’ve kept the original long haul fleet at the ex-US Airways hubs since their merger. As their network grows though, they’ll be shuffling the long haul fleet to the other hubs.

More recently, mainline AA 767s have been placed at PHL and just this year, AA launched a 777-200 route out of Phoenix. Next summer, some of the new 787s will operate some of the current A330/767 routes out of Philadelphia. The A330s are retiring in the next few years so Philadelphia and Charlotte will see a bit more long haul fleet diversity from AA.


@Nathan explained it perfectly.

AA will slowly transition over to different aircraft over the next few years. The 788 will begin PHL-ZRH/AMS/MAN in January 2020. Expect it to replace other 763 routes.

PHL’s aircraft usage is still reminiscent of U.S. Airways, with multiple flights on the A332/A333s, E-190s, LUS A319/20/21s, and more.

The problem with PHL is AA does not have a 772 pilot base stationed there. AA’s LHR-PHX flight is a transition flight from another AA hub that has a 772 pilot base.

I don’t believe PHL is a heavy-premium demand market. It’s slowly becoming more leisure-oriented and connection based with recent flights to Berlin, Dubrovnik, Casablanca, etc. The 37J & 24W 772 may be too large of an aircraft for many PHL routes, aside from possibly LHR.

Still, expect more cross-fleet flying in the next couple of years. The A333s will be gone soon (originally supposed to be retired this year but was pushed back) and will need to be replaced by what I’d assume the 789 and 772 at both PHL and CLT.

Even this winter, American Airlines will operate the 777-200 between Dallas/Fort Worth and Phoenix on select dates. AA will continue 788 service between Chicago and Phoenix(and San Francisco) as well this winter.

The only time they used a 777 for AA at PHL was when the Eagles football team were travelling to Minnesota for the Super Bowl. (I guess that doesn’t count cause it wasn’t for actual passengers, more for private purpose)

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As a few have said already its due to the merger. Charlotte, Phoenix and Philadelphia were US Airways hubs taken on by American. It was much easier for American to keep the aircraft operating where they were. You typically won’t see American A330s in hubs other than the US Airways three. American is shifting more of it’s East Coast service to Philadelphia from New York. In a few years we likely will see AA 777s and 787s operating out of Philadelphia, especially as American plans to retire its A330-300s

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