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Sat, Jun 30, 2007

American Airlines Accelerates Six Boeing 737-800 Deliveries

Carrier Wants 20 Percent Increase In Fuel Efficiency By 2020

American Airlines said Thursday it has accelerated the delivery of six additional Boeing 737-800 aircraft into the first half of 2009, as it continues its fleet renewal plan and the replacement process for its MD-80 aircraft.

In March, the carrier announced its intent to pull forward the delivery of 47 Boeing 737-800s under a previous purchase commitment with Boeing. It accelerated the first three of these 737s for delivery in early 2009.

Thursday's announcement means that a total of nine of the 47 737s have been accelerated for delivery under the existing purchase commitment, according to the company.

"Our agreement with Boeing provides us with substantial fleet renewal flexibility while allowing us to continue to improve our financial foundation and position the company for long-term success," said AMR Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey.

"In addition, our plan to begin replacing our MD-80 fleet is an important component of our efforts to improve the fuel efficiency of our fleet by more than 20 percent by 2020 and to reduce carbon emission and noise levels."

The carrier said it intends to continue pulling forward deliveries of the remainder of the 47 737s from their current 2013-2016 delivery schedules into the 2009-2012 timeframe.

"We believe that beginning to replace some of our MD-80s in a measured way makes economic sense and represents prudent and strategic reinvestment in our business that will bring long-term benefits to shareholders, customers and employees," said Arpey. "Our existing agreement with Boeing gives us ample flexibility for our long-term fleet plan."

"While the MD-80 remains an excellent aircraft that serves us and our customers well, the new 737s will be a great addition to our fleet that will lower our operational costs, boost the fuel efficiency of our fleet and also bolster our efforts to lower emissions and noise levels," he added.

As ANN reported, Arpey said the decision to begin replacement of American's older MD-80s is part of the carrier's goal to improve the fuel efficiency of its fleet by more than 20 percent by 2020 -- a move which will also benefit the airline's bottom line in the long run.

FMI: www.aa.com

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