Tags: American Airlines | Planes

AMR Splits Record 460-Jet Order Between Airbus, Boeing

Wednesday, 20 Jul 2011 07:42 AM

American Airlines agreed to buy 460 single-aisle jets from Airbus SAS and Boeing Co. (BA) in the industry’s biggest-ever order that lets Airbus break Boeing’s two-decade hold over the U.S. airline.

The order consists of 260 Airbus planes and 200 Boeing 737s, Fort Worth, Texas-based American said today in a statement. The deal includes $13 billion of committed financing from the planemakers on the first 230 aircraft, and options and future purchase rights for 465 additional jets.

American’s Boeings will include 100 of a new version of the 737 with revamped engines, making the airline the first customer for a model that the planemaker’s board still must approve. The Airbus jets will be A320s, split equally between the current model and the so-called neo version with new engines.

New planes would help American refresh a fleet that in 2010 averaged 15 years of age, tied with Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) for the oldest among the six biggest U.S. carriers. Jet fuel and labor are the largest expenses at airlines, so more-economical aircraft would help AMR’s bid to return to profit after two straight annual losses.

Deliveries will start in 2013 and run through 2022, American said. American flies an all-Boeing fleet and hasn’t ordered Airbus jets since 1987. The carrier’s last Airbus jets were retired in 2009.
Airbus Gains

The A320neo, as the Airbus with the new engines is called, has become the company’s fastest-selling jet since it was introduced at the end of last year. The first neos will be delivered at the end of 2015, and early customers include Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA), AirAsia Bhd (AIRA) and Virgin America Inc. The aircraft offers efficiency gains of as much as 15 percent over the current A320, its bestselling jet, Airbus has said.

Airbus has won more than 1,000 firm orders or commitments for the A320neo so far, with 667 commitments at the Paris Air show last month alone.

“Boeing has been passive,” said Jason Adams, an aviation analyst at Nomura International in London. “The Paris Air show was a wake-up call.”

The 737 and A320 compete in the single-aisle segment that makes up the biggest part of the global airline fleet. Boeing predicts that single-aisle jets will make up 70 percent of the total in the next two decades. The aircraft typically seat 110 to 200 passengers. Boeing’s 737 costs about $81 million at list price, and the A320 costs about $85 million.

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American Airlines agreed to buy 460 single-aisle jets from Airbus SAS and Boeing Co. (BA)in the industry s biggest-ever order that lets Airbus break Boeing s two-decade hold over the U.S. airline. The order consists of 260 Airbus planes and 200 Boeing 737s, Fort Worth,...
American Airlines,Planes
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2011-42-20
Wednesday, 20 Jul 2011 07:42 AM
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