In the US, and probably globally, fuel represents about 40% of airline operating costs. Cutting fuel burn is going to remain a prime focus at every airline.  The case to retire aircraft is driven by MRO costs, but even if an aircraft has acceptable maintenance costs, if its fuel is going the wrong way, the boneyard beckons.

With this in mind, we can see why US airlines are buying new aircraft.  Fuel prices are going up again and the value of early delivery slots is an important competitive advantage. Airlines that made moves some years ago already demonstrate the selections made have worked out well. 

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