Boeing clinches Dreamliner order from American Airlines

American Airlines has dealt Airbus a fresh blow after opting to more than double its Dreamliner fleet.

American Airlines has placed an order for 47 new Boeing 787 wide-body aircraft consisting of 22 787-8s, scheduled to begin arriving in 2020, and 25 787-9s, scheduled to begin arriving in 2023.

The 787-8s will replace the airline’s Boeing 767-300s, while later 787-9 deliveries will replace Airbus A330-300s and older 777-200 wide-body aircraft.

American currently operates a fleet of 35 787s to destinations such as Tokyo, São Paulo and Paris. The US carrier will operate 89 787s once all aircraft under its previous order and the order announced today are delivered.

As part of the strategy to simplify its fleet, the oneworld member has agreed with Airbus to terminate its order for 22 A350s, which was originally placed by US Airways.

“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,” said AA president Robert Isom.

“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.”

Chief financial officer Derek Kerr added that the order has been influenced by its goal to simplify its fleet and reduce the number of aircraft types it operates.

“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 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. It said the revised delivery schedule would better align with planned retirements of other narrow-body aircraft.

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