Home' Asian Aviation : AAV September 2011 Contents 26 AsianAviation | SEPTEMBER 2011
s part of a long-term fleet-renewal
strateg y for American Airlines
(AA), owner AMR Corporation
announced in July a narrowbody
aircraft acquisition plan aimed at
reducing operating and fuel costs.
AA plans to acquire some 260 Airbus A320-series
and 200 Boeing 737-family aircraft (including new
variants) during 2013-22 . Options and purchase rights
for 465 additional A320 and 737 machines could see
American take delivery of as many as 925 new aircraft
in the 12 years up to 2025.
AMR and AA Chairman and Chief Executive
Gerard Arpey claims that the purchase and lease
plans are an important step toward positioning the
carrier for long-term success. “ This was an incredible
opportunity from two great manufacturers to meet
our needs,” he says.
The plan is to allow the airline to : focus on ser ving
“the world’s most important markets with the best
[alliance] partners”; enhance its products and ser vices;
work to improve customers’ travel experience; and
deliver important benefits to shareholders, customers,
and – not least – employees.
AA claims that the two single-aisle families offer a 35
percent reduction in fuel- cost per seat compared with its
current McDonnell Douglas MD-80s, and reductions
of 12 percent and 15 percent, respectively, compared
with the carrier ’s 757 and 767-200 fleets. Having flown
four different narrowbody types (including the 737-
800), AA says the planned acquisitions will allow it to
simplify its narrowbody fleet to two aircraft families,
with significant commonality benefits expected within
American has committed to lea sing 130 A320-
family aircraft, for delivery in 2013-17, and to buying
130 A320neo -family aircraft, which will arrive during
2017-22 . The carrier has also taken options on an
additional 365 aircraft, and delivery positions may be
varied among A319, A320, and A321 models.
The carrier will also acquire 100 current Boeing
737 models (including three earlier 737-800 options
converted just before the deal), comprising a mix of
Series 700, 800, and 900ER aircraft, for delivery during
2013-2017. The carrier also expects to acquire 100
new, re-engined 737 variants that would be scheduled
for 2018-22 delivery.
The acquisition of re -engined 737s is conditional on
the Boeing board approving launch of that programme
and the carrier agreeing to buy such aircraft. The re-
engined 737 will be powered by CFM International
The 360 total aircraft covered by these firm
commitments are scheduled for delivery as follows : 40
aircraft in 2013, 55 in 2014, 50 in 2015, 45 in 2016,
50 in 2017 and 120 in 2018 and beyond. Airbus and
Boeing have committed US$13 billion in financing
to American, through leases that cover the first 130
Airbus and the initial 100 Boeing deliveries.
The so -called “sweetheart” arrangement from the
two manufacturers will help to maximise AA’s balance
sheet flexibility and to reduce risk, the carrier says.
Excluding previously ordered aircraft to be delivered
in coming years, Airbus and Boeing financing under
the new deals covers all related 2013-16 deliveries
and 80 percent of those scheduled in 2017.
American president Tom Horton has stressed that
the manufacturers’ financing requires minimal to no
capital expenditure since the aircraft are being financed
through operating leases.
“ We are putting our partners’ capital – more
[money] than we would other wise be able to raise
effectively on our own — to work for our company,”
Arpey told employees.
All these additional aircraft will complement other
recent deliveries, as well as those pending under existing
orders. In 2009 and 2010, the airline received 76 737-
800s. As of 1 July 2011 – before announcement of the
new order plans – American Airlines was operating
612 jetliners, of which more than a third were MD-80s
and a quarter were 737-800s. The fleet also included
124 757-200s, 58 767-300ERs, 15 767-200s, and 47
777-200ERs. Some 61 owned and leased aircraft were
in temporary storag e, of which 54 were MD-80s.
AA had purchase commitments covering 55 737-
800s (with 13 deliveries in 2011, 28 in 2012, and 14
American joins Airbus club
American Airlines has unveiled plans to add up to 925 new single-aisle aircraft during 2013-25, in a move that
will see four of the top five US carriers operating Airbus equipment. Ian Goold reports.
“ We are putting our partners’ capital – more [money] than we
would otherwise be able to raise effectively on our own — to
work for our company.” – A A Chairman and CEO Gerald Arpey
With the new A320-family order, American becomes the
fourth Airbus operator among the top five US airlines.
2/09/11 5:55 PM
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