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An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 on ground (Photo: Sharon Hahn Darlin/Flickr)
American Airlines buys 23 more Boeing 737 MAX 8, Defers 787-9 deliveries

American exercised its existing purchase options for the MAX order

Summary

  • Plans to convert seven more Boeing 737-8 MAX purchase option into firm order
  • Some 787-9 delivery to be deferred due to production issues at Boeing

American Airlines has agreed to purchase an additional 23 Boeing 737 MAX 8 by exercising its existing purchasing option and deferring the delivery of some 787-9 aircraft, betting on the gradual recovery of air travel in the United States and undeterred by the Omicron variant.

It also intends to convert seven more 737 MAX 8 purchase options into firm orders later this year, bringing the total MAX order to 30. 42 737 MAX 8 aircraft are actively flying with American Airlines.

The airline has deferred the delivery of its Boeing 787-9 aircraft to the fourth quarter of 2023, with four 787-9 to be delivered and the rest to be spread out until 2027 due to production issues at Boeing. Initially, American expected to receive up to 13 Boeing 787 aircraft in December 2021, with none delivered so far.

Delays to the 787 deliveries have forced American Airlines to cancel or reduce some flights and defer resumption of flights on several international routes, such as Edinburgh, Scotland and Shannon, Ireland in Europe, and Hong Kong in Asia as there are insufficient widebody aircraft to support its schedule.

The airline retired several aircraft fleets, including the Airbus A330 and Boeing 757 and 767 during the pandemic in 2020, hoping that they would receive new aircraft such as the Boeing 737 MAX and 787 in time for a gradual ramp-up in flights.

Boeing is currently paying an undisclosed amount to American Airlines as penalties for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner delays, which the aircraft maker admits that it may take up to one year to resume deliveries while it is working with the United States Federal Administration Authority (FAA) to address several manufacturing issues.

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