American Airlines announced April 6 it is ordering 47 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and canceling its order for 22 Airbus A350s. The Oneworld airline is also deferring delivery of 40 Boeing 737 MAX narrow-bodies.
The 787 wide-body order consists of 22 787-8s scheduled to begin arriving in 2020 and 25 787-9s scheduled to begin arriving in 2023, American said. The 787-8s will replace American’s Boeing 767-300s, while later 787-9 deliveries will replace Airbus A330-300s and older 777-200 wide-body aircraft. All of the 787s will be powered by GE Aviation GEnx-1B engines.
American operates a fleet of 35 787s to destinations such as Tokyo, São Paulo and Paris. American will operate 89 787s once all aircraft ordered previously and in today’s deal are delivered.
The A350 order cancellation has long been expected. The deal was struck by US Airways before its merger with American. Since the merger, the A350 no longer fit with American’s strategy to simplify its fleet.
“We have two excellent partners in Boeing and Airbus and our relationship with both manufacturers goes back many years. Both offer specific aircraft that provide us with the right lift on specific missions across our global network,” American president Robert Isom said in a press statement Friday. “This was a difficult decision between the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 and A330neo and we thank both manufacturers for their aggressive efforts to earn more of American’s business. In the end, our goal to simplify our fleet made the 787 a more compelling choice.”
American CFO Derek Kerr further explained today’s announcement by saying it was influenced “by our goal to simplify our fleet and reduce the number of aircraft types we operate. Our prior plan would have had us operating five wide-body aircraft types, and with today’s announcement we will soon reduce that to three. These new replacement aircraft are consistent with our previous plans for the size of our wide-body fleet.
“We see significant advantages to carrying common fleet types, including creating less friction in our operation when aircraft swaps are necessary, reducing inventory needs, and creating a more consistent service for customers and team members,” Kerr said.
As part of the 787 order, American has also reached an agreement with Boeing to defer the delivery of 40 737 MAX aircraft previously scheduled to arrive between 2020 and 2022.
Boeing said the 47 787s are valued at more than $12 billion at list prices and make American Airlines the largest 787 customer in the Western Hemisphere. ANA, the Japanese carrier that was the launch customer for the Dreamliner, is the largest operator of 787s, while lessor AerCap is the largest 787 owner.
(Karen Walker - ATWOnline News)