SEATTLE, 20 July 2011. Leaders of U.S. commercial air carrier American Airlines in Fort Worth, Texas, plan to split an massive order for new narrowbody passenger jetliners between the Boeing Co. in Seattle and Airbus in Toulouse, France, industry officials announced today. American plans to buy as many as 300 variants of the Boeing 737 narrowbody commercial jetliner and 260 Airbus A320 family narrowbody aircraft over the next several years to replace ageing narrowbody commercial aircraft in the American Airlines fleet.The Airbus contract calls for American to take delivery of A319s, A320s, and A321s, with 130 featuring the Airbus New Engine Option (neo). All of the Airbus aircraft involved in the deal will feature large, fuel-saving wingtip devices known as Sharklets, Airbus officials say. The deal breaks Boeing's monopoly at American Airlines, industry analysts say.In the deal with Boeing (NYSE:BA), American is choosing 100 next-generation 737 aircraft, with options for an additional 40 next-generation 737s, as well as 100 variants of the 737 with the fuel-efficient CFM International LEAP-X engine, with options for an additional 60, Boeing officials say. Boeing is waiting for configuration and launch approval from the company's board of directors for its newest fuel-efficient version of the 737 narrowbody jetliner.
The A320neo, launched in late 2010, is the latest aircraft offering from Airbus. The new-engine-option versions of the Airbus A319, A320, and A321 offer two engine options -- the PurePower PW1100G from Pratt & Whitney or the LEAP-X from CFM International. The new engines and Sharklet wingtips reduce fuel consumption and engine emissions by 15 percent compared to prior-generation narrowbody aircraft, Airbus officials say.
Boeing and American should finalize their agreement over the next several weeks before the airline makes a firm order. The American airlines fleet today has more than 600 Boeing airplanes, includes 156 late-model 737-800s. In addition to the 300 aircraft purchases announced today, American has 51 737-800, seven 777-200ER (extended range), and six 777-300ER aircraft on order. American also has agreed with Boeing to buy 42 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft with purchase rights for 58 more.
Boeing finds itself in a stiff head-to-head competition with Airbus for next-generation fuel-efficient narrowbody jetliners. Boeing will offer the CFM LEAP-X-powered 737, while Airbus will offer the A320neo jetliners. Airbus won contracts last month at the Paris Air show for 667 A320neo aircraft worth a collective $60.9 billion, company officials say. Airbus has received orders and commitments for almost 1200 A320neo Family aircraft.
For more information contact Boeing online at www.boeing.com/commercial, Airbus at www.airbus.com, or American Airlines at www.aa.com.
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