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.