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Thu, Jul 21, 2011

AA Splits Massive Order Between Boeing, Airbus

American Places Orders And Options For 560 Airplanes

In a move that was largely telegraphed to the media last week, American Airlines announced a massive fleet replacement plan on Wednesday that includes orders and options for as many as 300 Boeing 737's, and 260 Airbus A320 family aircraft.

The agreement includes 100 Next-Generation 737s, with options for an additional 40 airplanes. Boeing and American Airlines will work to finalize the agreement over the next several weeks, at which time it will be a firm order and posted to the Boeing Orders and Deliveries website.

In addition, American Airlines has committed to order a variant of the 737 featuring new, more fuel-efficient engines, pending final airplane configuration and launch approval of the program by the Boeing board of directors. This commitment for 100 airplanes, with options for 60 more, is the first of many anticipated for this variant. The airplane would be powered by CFM International's LEAP-X engine.

"This agreement highlights our focus on investing in our fleet for the benefit of our shareholders, customers and employees," said Tom Horton, president, AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines and American Eagle. "The addition of these Next-Generation 737s will play a critical role in replacing our narrowbody fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft offering state-of-the-art customer features."

But American will also reach across the Atlantic for nearly half of the airplanes ordered. Airbus says AMR has signed a firm contract for American to acquire 260 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. The contract calls for flexibility for the airline to take delivery of A319s, A320s and A321s, with 130 featuring Airbus’ New Engine Option (neo).  All 260 aircraft will feature wingtip devices known as Sharklets.

The deal between Airbus and American was announced Wednesday at the airline’s Dallas/Ft. Worth hub.  The airline plans to announce its choice of engines to power the aircraft at a later date.

“We are pleased to add the Airbus single-aisle family as an important component of our fleet modernization strategy,” said AMR and American Airlines President Tom Horton. “The A320 Family of aircraft will help us achieve improved fuel efficiency and other operational savings, while offering our customers state-of-the-art technology and an enhanced travel experience. We look forward to a successful partnership with Airbus.” 

FMI: www.aa.com, www.boeing.com, www.airbus.com

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