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American Airlines posts largest aircraft order in history split between Boeing And Airbus; first US airline to commit to 737NG and A320neo

American Airlines plans to acquire 460 narrowbody, single-aisle aircraft from the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 families beginning in 2013 through 2022—the largest aircraft order in aviation history. As part of these agreements, starting in 2017 American will become the first network US airline to begin taking delivery of “next generation” narrowbody aircraft that will further accelerate fuel-efficiency gains. American expects these new deliveries to pave the way for American to have the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleet among its US airline peers in approximately five years.

The deal is worth $US40 billion at list prices, with options taking the total to $US81 billion.

The 737 and A320 families offer significant cost reduction opportunities in replacing American’s older fleet. For example, Boeing and Airbus aircraft in the 737 and A320 families offer a 35% reduction in fuel cost per seat versus the MD-80 and a 12% and 15% fuel cost reduction per seat, respectively, versus the 757 and 767-200.

The agreements with Boeing and Airbus will continue American’s fleet simplification efforts, allowing American to transition from four fleet types (MD-80, 737-800, 757 and 767-200) to two (the 737 and the A320 families, which offer significant commonality benefits within each family).

American also will benefit from approximately $13 billion of committed financing from the manufacturers through lease transactions that will help maximize balance sheet flexibility and reduce risk. The financing fully covers the first 230 deliveries.

Boeing. Under the agreement with Boeing, American plans to acquire a total of 200 additional aircraft from the 737 family, with options for another 100 aircraft. American has the flexibility to convert the new deliveries into variants within the 737 family, including the 737-700, 737-800 and 737-900ER.

As part of the Boeing agreement, American will take delivery of 100 aircraft from Boeing’s current 737NG family starting in 2013, including three 737-800 options that had been exercised as of 1 July 2011. American also intends to order 100 of Boeing’s expected new evolution of the 737NG, powered by CFM International’s LEAP-X engine. American is the first airline to commit to Boeing’s new 737 family offering, which is expected to provide a new level of economic efficiency and operational performance, pending final confirmation of the program by Boeing.

Airbus. American also will acquire a total of 260 Airbus aircraft from the A320 Family and will have 365 options and purchase rights for additional aircraft. American has the flexibility to convert its delivery positions into variants within the A320 Family, including the A319 and A321.

American will take delivery of 130 current-generation Airbus aircraft beginning in 2013. Beginning in 2017 American will begin taking delivery of 130 aircraft from the A320neo (New Engine Option) Family featuring next-generation engine technology. The A320neo models feature a choice of two new engines—the PurePower PW1100G from Pratt & Whitney or the LEAP-X from CFM International.

The new aircraft are approximately 15% more fuel efficient than today’s models. American will be the first network airline in the US to deploy this new-technology aircraft.

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