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American orders re-engined Boeing 737s, A320neos in mega narrowbody buy

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 20, 2011

An A321neo in American colours
An A321neo in American colours. (Airbus)

American Airlines has become the launch customer for a re-engined 737 powered by the CFM LEAP-X engine as part of a massive narrowbody airliner buy for up to 460 aircraft, including 130 A320neos, split between Boeing and Airbus.

The orders and commitments, announced at American’s Dallas Fort Worth headquarters on July 20, comprise firm orders for 260 Airbus A320 Family aircraft (all fitted with Sharklet winglets), 130 of which will be neo variants, with the deal giving the airline provision to chose between the A319, A320 and A321 variants, plus a commitment to order 100 Boeing 737NGs with 40 options, and 100 firm orders and 60 options for the as yet un-named and unlaunched re-engined variant of the 737.

According to a Boeing statement which provides little other detail on the new aircraft, “American Airlines has committed to order a variant of the 737 featuring new more fuel-efficient engines, pending final airplane configuration and launch approval of the program by the Boeing board of directors… The airplane would be powered by CFM International’s LEAP-X engine.”

Meanwhile American has yet to select which engine will power its A320 and A320neo aircraft.

Deliveries will being in 2013 and run through to 2022, with the deal representing the biggest ever placed in commercial aviation.


American currently operates an all Boeing fleet of over 600 aircraft, having retired its last Airbus A300s in 2009. It currently operates 156 737-800s, with 51 still on order from previous deals.

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Comments (6)

  • Brett


    Great to see Airbus get a look in at one of the US markets big Boeing cusomers. I do think however that the 737RE is a knee jerk reaction done to save some face at Boeing.

    The 737RE will be a compromised offering as the fan diameter will need to be smaller to accommodate it under the wing. Boeing should have come to market with a new clean sheet 797 instead!

  • Andrew McLaughlin


    Brett – word is from US media reports that Boeing will do both an RE from 2017 and a new aircraft in the early 2020s. There should be more clarity on this at the Boeing earnings call next week.

  • Chris


    Airbus back at AA – superb!

  • bz


    What did US Congress have to say about the Airbus order? Or is it irrelevant because it is a commercial and not a military purchase?

  • j bol


    boeing has the upper hand here anyway because they have secured the 100 extra options as well as ongoing orders with the 777-300ER and they will have a good space in their fleet too for the 787

  • stevo



    How exactly does Boeing have the upper hand? 260 firm A320 family orders vs 200 firm Boeing orders

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