American Airlines Places Orders With Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer for 260 Aircraft

American Airlines Places Orders With Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer for 260 Aircraft

On Monday, American Airlines said that it had ordered 260 new aircraft from Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer, about equal in number. It represents the strength of the demand for air travel and is the airline’s largest aircraft order since 2011.

The deal is for 90 smaller Embraer E175 aircraft, 85 Boeing 737 Max 10 aircraft, and 85 Airbus A321neo aircraft. After a panel on a Max 9 aircraft blew off during an Alaska Airlines flight in January, Boeing’s equal status in the agreement suggests that American aviation authorities still have faith in the manufacturer. While there were no serious injuries from that incident, doubts over the reliability and caliber of Boeing aircraft were raised again.

In an interview with reporters on Monday, Devon May, the chief financial officer of the airline, expressed American confidence in Boeing’s ability to enhance quality, following the preliminary federal investigation’s suggestion that the Alaska Airlines aircraft may have left Boeing’s factory without bolts that were essential for securing the panel.

“We know what their goals are: They are going to improve quality,” Mr. May said. “They are going to continue to deliver a safe product. And that’s our expectation.”

A current order for thirty smaller Max 8 aircraft, which was upgraded to the Max 10, is included in the Boeing contract. About 200 people can fit in that bigger aircraft, which has not yet gained regulatory approval.

According to Mr. May, American does not anticipate receiving its first Max 10 aircraft until 2028. Although the airline anticipates that Boeing will be able to deliver those airplanes, Mr. May stated that American has plans in place to substitute those deliveries with Airbus or other Max models should the company be unable to.

Additionally, American’s A321neo aircraft can accommodate roughly 200 passengers.

American’s regional subsidiaries mostly operate Embraer aircraft as workhorses for shorter flights, usually between smaller airports or from those locations to hub airports. The E175 can accommodate roughly 76 passengers in its premium and economy cabins.

The largest aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, is headquartered in Toulouse, France, whereas Embraer, the third-largest, is situated close to São Paulo, Brazil. The second-biggest, Boeing, is situated in Arlington, Virginia.

“Over the past decade, we have invested heavily to modernize and simplify our fleet, which is the largest and youngest among U.S. network carriers,” American’s chief executive, Robert Isom, said in a statement. “These orders will continue to fuel our fleet with newer, more efficient aircraft so we can continue to deliver the best network and record-setting operational reliability for our customers.”

American claimed the aircraft would enable it to fulfill its dual objectives of operating larger, more profitable aircraft on shorter flights within the United States and boosting the number of premium seats it offers—seats that have been in high demand recently. The airline also announced that, beginning in 2025, it would modernize its current fleet of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft, adding more space for first class, power outlets at every seat, and bigger overhead bins.

Since 2021, when United Airlines revealed plans to purchase 200 aircraft from Boeing and 70 from Airbus, the order announced on Monday is the largest placed by any American carrier. In 2011, American placed its last significant aircraft deal, purchasing 200 Boeing and 260 Airbus aircraft.

Sanchita Patil

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