USA airline in big order for Boeing jets

Steve Rothstein AAirpass

Furthermore, American Airlines canceled its order for 22 of Airbus's twin-aisle A350 jets, which was an order placed by predecessor carrier US Airways.

The move underscores the difficulty that Airbus has faced in the United States - the largest aviation market and a Boeing stronghold.

The airline will use the 787-8s to replace its 22 767-300ERs, and the 787-9s to replace its nine A303-300s and some of its older 777-200s, it says.

As part of the deal, the two firms have agreed to defer delivery of 40 737 narrowbody jets that were previously scheduled to arrive between 2020 and 2022. "This new order is a powerful endorsement of the 787 family's unique passenger appeal and unmatched ability to help airlines open new routes and grow profitably", said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister in a news release.

American's decision was not unexpected, as executives have said they were considering canceling the A350 order in favor of either the Boeing 787, or the Airbus A330neo.

American has ordered 47 aircraft, 22 787-8s and 25 787-9s, to add to an existing order of 42, with 35 of those already delivered. All of the 787s will be powered by GE Aviation GEnx-1B engines.

Deliveries start in 2020, and American has options for 28 more jets. The deal will more than double its 787 Dreamliner fleet and makes American Airlines the largest 787 customer in the Western Hemisphere. Hawaiian Airlines, the sole customer for Airbus's A330-800, decided last month to order 10 Dreamliners instead. "The revised delivery schedule will better align with planned retirements of other narrow-body aircraft", American said in a statement. Boeing claims the planes lower airline operating costs by more than 20-percent compared to previous jetliners. The 250-seat A330-800 is on track for its first flight in the middle of this year, with the bigger -900 variant set to enter into service around the same time with launch operator TAP - Air Portugal.

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