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American Airlines cancels Airbus deal, orders 47 Dreamliners from Boeing

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Apparently in line with President Donald Trump’s protectionist policy, American Airlines has cancelled a major deal with Airbus for 22 A350s, announcing it has instead purchased 47 787 Dreamliners from rivals Boeing in a deal valued at $12 billion.

The airline said it had also reached an agreement with Airbus to “terminate its order” in an effort to “simplify its fleet”.

But the announcement marks the end of a hard-fought contest between the two firms over who was to take on the significant order.

The sudden shift is a blow to France-based Airbus – who previously supplied American Airlines with nearly three dozen A350s.

“This was a difficult decision between the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 and A330neo and we thank both manufacturers for their aggressive efforts to earn more of American’s business,” said American Airlines president, Robert Isom.

“In the end, our goal to simplify our fleet made the 787 a more compelling choice.”

The order comprises 22 787-8s scheduled to begin arriving in 2020 and 25 787-9s scheduled to begin arriving in 2023.

They will gradually replace Boeing 767s and 777s along with European Airbus A330s, American said Friday.

The sale brings American Airlines’ total number of 787s to 89 aircraft. Though the total value is $12billion at list price, the final price paid by airlines is generally lower.

American Airlines said: “As part of the strategy to simplify its fleet, American agreed with Airbus today to terminate its order for 22 A350s, which was originally placed by US Airways,” which it bought in 2013.

Chief financial officer Derek Kerr added advantages of carrying common fleet types included “creating less friction in our operation when aircraft swaps are necessary, reducing inventory needs, and creating a more consistent service for customers and team members.”

American Airlines also said it had deferred delivery of 40 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft previously scheduled to arrive between 2020 and 2022.

The carrier said the revised schedule “will better align with planned retire”.


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