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American orders 47 787s for fleet replacement

American Airlines has ordered 47 Boeing 787s as replacements for its older widebody aircraft.

The deal includes 22 787-8s and 25 787-9s with deliveries from 2020 and 2023, respectively, the Fort Worth-based carrier says. It also includes 28 options.

The order is valued at $12 billion at list prices, says Boeing.

"This was a difficult decision between the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 and A330neo and we thank both manufacturers for their aggressive efforts to earn more of American’s business," says Robert Isom, president of American, in a statement. "In the end, our goal to simplify our fleet made the 787 a more compelling choice.”

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Max Kingsley-Jones/FlightGlobal

The airline will use the 787-8s (above) to replace its 22 767-300ERs, and the 787-9s to replace its nine A330-300s and some of its older 777-200s, it says.

As part of the deal, American has deferred indefinitely 40 Boeing 737 Max 8 deliveries due from 2020 to 2022, the airline says. It is scheduled to take delivery of 60 737-8s through 2020, according to its latest fleet plan.

American has been looking at alternatives for the order for 22 A350s that it gained through its 2013 merger with US Airways since last year, and recently outlined a need to make a decision on what to do with its aging 767-300ER fleet.

The carrier had said that it was considering the A330neo and A350 along with the 787 for both fleet decisions. However, it was widely reported that it had ended discussions with Airbus on either of the European airframer's models in March.

Isom and other executives have repeatedly emphasised a desire to simplify American's fleet throughout the process, suggesting that the 787 may have a lead over the Airbus types.

American operates 20 787-8s and 15 787-9s, and has orders for seven more 787-9s, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

Boeing says the order today is a new deal from American and not an exercise of the carrier's options for 58 787s.

American will be the largest operator of the 787 in the western hemisphere, with 89 aircraft, if it takes all of the Dreamliners it has on order, according to Boeing.

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