American orders: Airbus, 260; Boeing, 200

American Airlines this morning announced its blockbusting order that has been the subject of international intrigue since the Paris Air Show. The order is comprised of:

  • 260 A320 family airplanes from Airbus plus 365, with conversions rights within the family;
  •  100 737NGs and 100 737REs from Boeing and 100 options; and
  • Engines from CFM for the 737RE; the press release is silent on the engine selection for the NEO; Airbus tells us the engine is to be determined.

Here is the press release.

Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times has this story about the last-minute flurry of activity by Boeing to save the day.

There are a couple of interesting references in the Gates article:

  • We had reported Monday that Boeing’s timeline for the New Small Airplane was moving to the right to the 2020-2025 decade, being closer to 2020. On Tuesday we reported that this date is 2021. Gates reports 2022 and that this is just a “placeholder” date, which could move to the right.
  • The 737RE was characterized as a ‘paper’ airplane. Indeed, we have learned that Boeing is still massaging design details. It remains to be decided if Boeing will go with a 70-inch fan that will require more work statement for the airframe, including changes to the nose gear, or if it will go with a 66-inch fan that will eliminate the need for nose gear modifications, reduce the R&D costs but will trade off fuel efficiency slightly and be noisier than the 70-inch fan.

25 Comments on “American orders: Airbus, 260; Boeing, 200

  1. Strictly speaking, as I read it from the press release, the 737RE is an “intention” to buy, whereas the 737NGs and all the Airbuses are agreed purchases.

    • “Intention” is because the program has not been launched by Boeing. The Board of Directors will get the request from BCA to approve 737RE at its August meeting, after which the “intention” will be in a position to firm up.

  2. I think that this is great news that should now force Boeing to move ahead with the RE that the market wants.

    So what about an Airbus A320 assembly line in the US now?

  3. “American also intends to order 100 of Boeing’s expected new evolution of the 737NG, with a new engine that would offer even more significant fuel-efficiency gains over today’s models. American is pleased to be the first airline to commit to Boeing’s new 737 family offering, which is expected to provide a new level of economic efficiency and operational performance, pending final confirmation of the program by Boeing. This airplane would be powered by CFM International’s LEAP-X engine.”

    Soft as Marshmallow. Boeing was caught napping.

  4. Hello

    What do you think of the lack of engine supplier announcement for the A320 family ?
    Given that both “classics” and “NEO” are on order this should have given CFM a “natural” advantage ?

    • Given the last minute dickering for the airframe, our guess it that the engines took a back seat on the NEO. But we bet on CFM.

      • GECAS was supposed to play a big role in the financing
        Reading around it seems that the Airbus deal has been almost sealed by PAS11 ?
        So why no announcement ?

  5. This must be a depressing day at Boeing HQ and elsewhere. Lost a major client, been shown up on the home-turf, and walked away with distant second-best in what would have been a slam-dunk if they had committed to a 737RE six months ago. All that because they got too caught-up in their own rhethoric about how great the 737NG is.

    From an unnamed source in the Gates article: “American’s feeling has been, ‘You guys (Boeing) haven’t got your act together. You’re giving us something on a piece of paper that isn’t anywhere near as far along as Airbus,’ ”

    Boeing is a very competent company badly let down by its own management.

    But what I relish is how this shows up all those people who said AA would never buy Airbus again, how the 757 is such a great airplane, how Boeing was now in the driver’s seat in the NB market, how operating ‘cheap’ MD-80s made more sense than buying new kit. Seriously…

    • Our view is that given the backlogs at Boeing and Airbus and AA’s massive refleeting needs, a split order was the only solution.

      • Should be the same for the next big orders scheduled for year end ? Isn’t it ? (Delta – AF/KLM)
        Can we see other split orders soon ?
        Produciotn slots lefts are becoming rare
        Can it be good for the Cseries ?

      • leehamnet :Our view is that given the backlogs at Boeing and Airbus and AA’s massive refleeting needs, a split order was the only solution.

        Of course. My uninformed view is however that given the history, the split would have looked quite different had Boeing committed to the NE by year-end 2010.

        What’s your view on that?

          • Any idea on how A320NEO and 737NGNEO compare in “Airline presentable performance” ?
            Aside from the detached public rhetoric Boeing must have some factual idea on possible
            performance.

  6. We have been for the US legacies to replace their geriatric fleet, for a couple of a decades. It looks like American has fired the starting pistol with a loud bang!

  7. 625 from the BusBoys, that is just about American’s total livery, hum.
    Mordern fly by wire aircraft. One has to ask what was Big B thinking or are they? This along with additional orders to come is going to present a real task for the BusBoys.

  8. Boeing should have matched Airbus’ re-engining move when it happened. That’s the lowest-risk move in a duopoly. However, they’ll still make a lot of money for shareholders. The current market environment involves tons of money falling from the skies for these two manufacturers, and it’s just a question of which one gets a bit more than the other.

  9. Andreas :
    This must be a depressing day at Boeing HQ and elsewhere.

    I can imagine at one Texan household in particular. Thankfully, there’s probably plenty of koolaid still left over in his fridge.

    Anyway, congrats to all parties involved in this massive deal and thank you AA for finally pushing Boeing to provide some clarity on the future of the 737 program.

    • LOL, I think he will have to fill up the pool with the stuff and dive in it!

  10. Boeing has an innovative technical driven culture.

    They preferred an advanced, game changing platform that would grab the market. No doubt great artist impressions and windtunnel models were floating around.

    Innovation, superior technology, setting the standard. No half baked compromises.

    Enthousiast partners cheering them up to go boldly where no man has gone before. What do Kelly & Amnderson know ?! Yes we can!

    That’s what caught them. Again.

  11. Reading amr-aircraft.pdf

    What is the designated replacement for the 767? A321 ( or god forbid and unmentiioned A330 )

    and
    570 orders and options ( p11)? My R skills say 460 + 465 ~= 925 ?

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