A leading US newspaper has today reported that American Airlines is poised to make a massive order for 250 aircraft to replace its fleet of over 270 McDonnell Douglas MD-80s. While American was going to have to look at replacing its MD-80 fleet sooner rather than later, the most striking thing about this potential order is that the US carrier is reported to have approached Airbus first. What's more, the report suggests that American had even got as far as sketching out a basic deal with Airbus, before inviting Boeing to respond with a counter offer. Since retiring the last of its Airbus A300-600Rs on 25 August 2009, American Airlines fleet of over 670 aircraft has been completely devoid of Airbus aircraft of any type. Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers, John Leahy likes to argue that Boeing only launched the Next Generation version of the Boeing 737 in June 1993 after United Airlines placed a huge order for Airbus A320s. Whether or not Leahy's take on events is completely accurate and without bias, he also argues that Boeing's decision to re-engine the 737NG is inevitable. From today, it seems clear that the pressure on Boeing to finally announce its decision on whether it will re-engine the 737 a second time or wait to produce an all new aircraft around 2018, just got a whole lot greater. The question that the possibility of the American order going to Toulouse seems to raise is whether Boeing can now really afford to do anything else but re-engine, and as soon as possible.
Tue, Jul 5 2011 9:16 AM
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