American Airlines has placed orders for 260 new aircraft, including those produced by Airbus, Boeing and Embraer, with deliveries expected to begin later this decade. 

The Fort Worth-based carrier disclosed on 4 March it has added 85 Airbus A321neos, 85 Boeing 737 Max 10s and 90 Embraer 175s to its order book. American also holds options and purchase rights covering possible future orders for an additional 193 aircraft. 

“Over the past decade, we have invested heavily to modernise and simplify our fleet, which is the largest and youngest among US network carriers,” says chief executive Robert Isom. “These orders will continue to fuel our fleet with newer, more-efficient aircraft so we can continue to deliver the best network and record-setting operational reliability for our customers.”

American Airlines Airbus A321neo

Source: Airbus

American has added a further 85 Airbus A321neos to its order book 

Including the new deals with the three aircraft manufacturers, American now holds orders for 440 aircraft, including previously placed orders for A321XLRs, 737 Max and 787-9s. American also said on 4 March that it converted previously held orders for 30 737 Max 8s into orders for 30 of the larger Max 10 variant, which has yet to achieve certification by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The agreement comes as a major win for all three aircraft makers. It throws particular momentum behind Boeing, which has been seeking to overcome nagging quality problems, and that company’s Max 10, certification of which is badly delayed.

 Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, says the company is committed to “delivering on this new order and supporting American’s strategic growth… We deeply appreciate American Airlines’ trust in Boeing and its confidence in the 737 Max family”.

 The incoming aircraft will not require American change previously issued expectations about its planned capacity or capital expenditures. 

American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 10

Source: Boeing

American now holds orders for 115 Boeing 737 Max 10s

”The orders are part of American’s continued investment to expand premium seats across its narrowbody and regional fleets and support the long-term strength of the airline’s domestic and short-haul international network,” it says. 

Additionally, the carrier plans to retrofit its existing fleet of A319s and A320s beginning in 2025, increasing the number of first-class seats on the aircraft. American expects the number of premium seating across its fleet will increase more than 20% by 2026, thanks to planned refurbishments and new aircraft deliveries. 

American touts itself as the “largest single-carrier operator in the world of A320-family aircraft”. 

The incoming E-Jets – to be operated by American’s wholly owned subsidiary carriers under the American Eagle brand – will allow American to retire its 50-seat regional jets by the end of the decade. The airline will “continue to serve small and medium-size markets with larger regional jets”, it says.

At the end of 2023, American’s fleet included 98 50-seat jets, including 40 Bombardier CRJ200s and 58 Embraer ERJ-145s, according to the airline’s 2023 financial filing with US securities regulators.

American holds purchase rights for an additional 43 E175s, according to Embraer. If all options are exercised, the total list value of the deal exceeds $7 billion. 

Arjan Meijer, CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, calls the deal “American’s largest-ever single order of E175s”. 

American has received more than 600 new aircraft in the past decade. At the end of 2023, its fleet included 965 mainline and 556 regional jets.