787 Dreamliners for long-range flying, expanding its fleet of the advanced carbon-composite jetliners and dealing a blow to Airbus SE's ambitions to expand its wide-body aircraft sales in the U.S. American will operate 89 787s once all aircraft under its previous order and the order announced today are delivered. Choosing between Boeing and Airbus was a "difficult decision", the airline's president, Robert Isom, said in a news release, but going with Boeing to simplify the fleet "made the 787 a more compelling choice".
The company also sung the Boeing 787 Dreamliner's praises.
In a related move, American canceled an order for 22 of Airbus's twin-aisle A350 jets, a purchase placed by predecessor carrier US Airways, according to a statement Friday. Notably, the 787 earns American's highest overall customer satisfaction scores among widebodies, as well as in the areas of seat comfort, carry-on storage space and in-flight entertainment. "Our prior plan would have had us operating five widebody aircraft types, and with today's announcement we will soon reduce that to three", Chief Financial Officer Derek Kerr said. Pictured is one of the 787s already in the airline's fleet. American had delayed taking the A350s in both 2016 and 2017. All of the 787s will be powered by GE Aviation GEnx-1B engines. The oneworld airline is also deferring delivery of 40 Boeing 737 MAX narrowbodies.
The airline will use the 787-8s to replace its 22 767-300ERs, and the 787-9s to replace its nine A303-300s and some of its older 777-200s, it says.
The carrier had said that it was considering the A330neo and A350 along with the 787 for both fleet decisions. The aircraft originally were to arrive in 2020-2022. The revised delivery schedule will better align with planned retirements of other narrowbody aircraft. Airlines routinely get big discounts on planes.