American Airlines has cancelled its order for 22 Airbus A350s, instead placing an order for 47 additional Boeing 787s, valued at $12bn. The new Dreamliners, 22 -8s and 25 -9s powered by General Electric’s GEnx-1B engines, are scheduled to begin arriving in 2023 and will replace the oneworld carrier’s 767-300s and A330-300 and 777-200 aircraft respectively. American, which already operates 35 787s, has also taken options on a further 28 airframes.
The airline says its decision to cancel its A350 order, which was placed by US Airways prior to the two carriers’ merger, was influenced by a desire 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,” said American Airlines 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.”
American Airlines Chief Financial Officer Derek Kerr remarked: “Today’s announcement is 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 widebody 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 widebody 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.”
As part of its new agreement with Boeing, American has deferred 40 737 MAX jets previously planned for delivery between 2020 and 2022. The Dallas/Fort Worth-based airline says the revised delivery schedule “will better align with planned retirements of other narrowbody aircraft”.