American Airlines has secured financing to cover the majority of its expected Boeing 737 deliveries.

The Oneworld alliance member today took delivery of the first two of 76 737-800s that are scheduled to arrive through the first quarter of 2011 to support the carrier's planned replacement of aged Boeing MD-80s.

The 160-seat aircraft are the first new -800s to arrive at American since December 2001.

"With the financing commitments we have in place, we now have the ability to finance our expected 737 deliveries well into the fourth quarter of 2010, and we continue to pursue a number of additional financing opportunities," says Gerard Arpey, chairman and CEO of American's parent AMR Corp.

He adds: "With today's economic realities causing many companies, including American, to cut back, we must continue to find ways to control costs and boost revenues. While it is a big decision to spend money on new airplanes, especially in tough times, not doing so could be more expensive in the long run."

The new 737s will go into service tomorrow. They are distinguished by various upgrades and enhancements, including new first-class and coach-class seats, larger bins for overhead storage, and drop-down in-flight entertainment (IFE) monitors.

Significantly, the new aircraft have 110V AC power available to first and coach passengers. One power port per seat is available in first class with two ports per three seats in coach class.

Over time, American plans to equip these aircraft with Aircell's Gogo in-flight Internet service, which is currently offered on its transcontinental Boeing 767-200s.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news