American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) is considering returning to India and launching its first ever routes to Africa once deliveries of a new batch of B787s commence in 2020, Vice-President Network and Schedule Vasu Raja told Skift.

"That’s the airplane that is going to take us eventually to India and into Africa, and into markets which are very different from the ones that we have been in historically, but ones we believe will be very profitable," Raja said.

The airline has outstanding orders for forty-seven B787s, including twenty-five B787-9s directly from Boeing and twenty-two B787-8s from lessors. It already operates twenty-two and twenty units of the two types, respectively.

American Airlines never flew to Africa before. In 2012, it ended its service from Chicago O'Hare to Delhi Int'l, its last route to India.

Raja underlined that the airline will now be better equipped to serve India using a smaller aircraft than the B777-200(ER) but with a superior onboard product. In addition, it will most likely fly from a hub where it offers better domestic connectivity than at O'Hare. Finally, the existing joint venture with British Airways (BA, London Heathrow), which serves India, provides American Airlines with better market data than before.

Raja added that no route announcements were imminent and no decisions were made. The first B787s from the new batch are expected to replace older types on transatlantic routes from Philadelphia Int'l.

According to the ch-aviation capacity module, United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) is currently the only American airline to serve India. It flies from New York Newark to Mumbai Int'l and Delhi. Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) offers direct services from Delhi to Chicago O'Hare, IAFA!JFK, San Francisco, CA, and Washington Dulles, as well as from Mumbai to JFK and Newark.

The US-African market is dominated by African carriers. The only American airline to serve the continent is Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson), which operates from Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo and Lagos, as well as from JFK to Lagos, Accra, and Dakar Blaise Diagne Int'l.