By Michael Garko, In Airline News
American Airlines is reportedly in talks with Airbus about purchasing at least 100 narrow-body planes to help replace its aging MD-80 and Boeing 757 fleet.
Boeing and American Airlines (as well as Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines) currently operate under a gentleman’s agreement where American is solely a Boeing customer. The last Airbus to fly for American, an A300-600, was retired in 2009.
According to Bloomberg:
The board of the third-largest U.S. carrier may make a decision as soon as July, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Jets from Airbus’s A320 series would replace American’s less-efficient models such as Boeing 757s and MD-80s, the people said.
“We assume AMR is attempting to seek out price concessions from Boeing” or urge 737 efficiency gains, Will Randow, a Citigroup Inc. analyst in New York, said in a note to clients. “The addition of Airbus narrow-body aircraft to the fleet would likely increase complexity and potentially costs in regards to maintenance, network planning, and other areas.”
American is working to replace its aging 216 twin-engine MD-80 aircraft, many of which are over 20 years old. The airline has been accelerating its replacement of MD-80s with Boeing 737-800 aircraft that it currently has on order. The last 737-800 to American is expected to be delivered in 2013.