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American Airlines places 260 aircraft orders with Airbus, Boeing and Embraer

American has placed orders for 85 Boeing 737-MAX 10, 85 Airbus A321neo and 90 Embraer E175 jets © American Airlines
American has placed orders for 85 Boeing 737 MAX 10s, 85 Airbus A321neos and 90 Embraer E175 jets © American Airlines

American Airlines (American) is set to revolutionize its fleet as it announced a substantial order for 260 new aircraft, comprising 85 Airbus A321neo, 85 Boeing 737 MAX 10, and 90 Embraer E175 planes. This comprehensive procurement strategy includes options and purchase rights for an additional 193 aircraft, marking a significant milestone in the airline’s commitment to enhancing its domestic and short-haul international operations.

The sizeable order reflects American’s proactive approach to fleet modernisation and growth, with the Boeing order featuring the conversion of 30 existing 737 MAX 8 orders to 737 MAX 10 aircraft. These acquisitions align with American’s broader strategy of expanding premium seating options across its narrow-body and regional fleets to strengthen its competitive position.

This fleet expansion is integral to supporting the airlines’ measured growth plan into the next decade, ensuring a well-managed delivery schedule. Despite the scale of the order, the airline anticipates remaining within its previously communicated guidance for capacity and capital expenditures.

Having been the largest single-carrier operator of A320-family aircraft globally for the past decade, American continues to leverage A321 and A321neo planes to serve its customers across the U.S. and short-haul international routes.

The recent order for 737 MAX 10s signals the airline’s forward-thinking approach, eagerly anticipating the certification of these aircraft to enhance fleet flexibility.

American’s strategic focus extends to integrating larger, dual-class regional aircraft into its fleet to enhance connectivity from smaller markets to its global network. Simultaneously, the airline plans to retire all 50-seat single-class regional jets by the end of the decade, replacing them with larger regional jets to serve smaller and medium-size markets more efficiently.

Dual-class regional jets with premium seating, high-speed satellite Wi-Fi and in-seat power are expected to make up American’s entire regional fleet upon completion of the Embraer E175 deliveries. The new E175 aircraft will be operated by American’s wholly owned regional carriers.

In response to the increasing demand for premium travel experiences, American Airlines plans to retrofit its A319 and A320 aircraft, starting in 2025. This retrofit initiative includes power at every seat, expanded overhead bins, and new seats with updated trim and finish. The A319 fleet will see an increase in premium seats to a total of 12 domestic first-class seats, while A320 retrofits will boost the domestic first-class seat count to 16.

With this ambitious combination of planned aircraft refresh and anticipated deliveries, American Airlines aims to achieve a growth of more than 20% in premium seating across its fleet by 2026, signalling a bold step towards providing an elevated travel experience for its passengers.

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