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July 22, 2024

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American Airlines announced major orders for narrow-body and regional aircraft with three manufacturers today. The orders totaled 260 firm orders plus 193 options and purchase rights.

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,” said American’s CEO Robert Isom. “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.”

A breakdown of the orders by manufacturer follows.

Embraer E175: 90 firm orders plus 43 purchase rights

By the end of the decade, American is updating its regional fleet to replace older single class 50 seat aircraft and will continue to serve smaller communities with dual-class E175s. The order for 90 E175 regional jets from Embraer and purchase rights for 43 additional aircraft upgrades the regional fleet and replaces older and less efficient jets.  With Mitsubishi no longer in the market, the E175 is the only regional aircraft in production that meets the current scope clause in pilot contracts that restrict the size of regional jets operating in the United States.

Arjan Meijer, President and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation said, “The E175 is truly the backbone of the U.S. aviation network, connecting all corners of the country. One of the world’s most successful aircraft programs, the E175, was upgraded with a series of modifications that improved fuel burn by 6.5%. This modern, comfortable, reliable, and efficient aircraft continues to deliver the connectivity the U.S. depends on day after day. This represents American’s largest-ever single order of E175s,  and we thank American for its continued trust in our products and people.”

Airbus A321neo: 85 Firm Orders plus 75 options

American Airlines is the largest customer for the A321neo in North American, and the order for 85 additional aircraft brings their total to 219 aircraft in service and on-order. American Airlines took delivery of its first A321neo in February 2019, and 70 have been delivered as of January 31, 2024. The airline is the world’s largest operator of A320 Family aircraft, the world’s largest A321 operator (CEO and NEO), and the largest customer for the A321neo in North America. 

The continued investment in the A321neo is a testament to the unprecedented value of the world’s most versatile and capable single-aisle aircraft,” said Benoît de Saint-Exupéry, EVP Sales, Commercial Aircraft, Airbus. “For nearly two decades, American Airlines has used its A320 Family of aircraft, some of which have been produced in the U.S. in Mobile, Alabama, to grow its domestic and short-haul international network and provide an exceptional experience for its passengers and crews.”

American plans to up-gauge domestic and short-haul international aircraft, adding premium seats to the mix, even on smaller aircraft. The carrier has expanded first class on A320s from 12 to 16 seats, adding four seats to generate higher revenues. The A321XLR will likely offer an improved first-class product for its transatlantic operations.

Boeing 737 MAX 10: 85 firm orders plus 75 options and 30 order conversions

American is also ordering 85 Boeing 737 MAX 10, the largest variant of the MAX family, which is now not expected to be certified until 2026. The carrier also converted 30 of its MAX 8 from orders to the MAX 10 and secured 75 options. American will also change 30 existing orders for the MAX 8 to the larger MAX 10.

We deeply appreciate American Airlines’ trust in Boeing and its confidence in the 737 MAX family. American’s selection of the 737-10 will provide even greater efficiency, commonality, and flexibility for its global network and operations,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Our team here at Boeing is committed to delivering on this new order and supporting American’s strategic growth with one of the industry’s largest and most modern fleets.”

The MAX 10 program is five years behind schedule and may be abandoned by American’s competitor, United, as it seeks to replace its MAX 10 orders with A321 orders. Time will tell whether the aircraft will meet its revised plan for operations in 2026. This order recalls the famous order in 2011 for single-aisles from Airbus and Boeing. That order was also split evenly. 

author avatar
Ernest Arvai
President AirInsight Group LLC

1 thought on “American orders 260 narrow-body aircraft

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