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American to base 737 Max in Miami

American Airlines will base its first Boeing 737 Max 8 at its Miami International airport hub, with plans to enter new markets and replace other narrowbody flying.

The Fort Worth-based carrier will take advantage of the fuel efficiency and range of the latest Boeing narrowbody to "open new markets and improve our performance in certain markets" from Miami, it says in an employee newsletter on 17 August.

The 737-8 has a range of 3,515nm, which compares to 3,750nm for the smaller Airbus A319 and 3,915nm for the larger Boeing 757-200, Boeing and Airbus' websites show.

American says it will use the 172-seat 737-8 to replace some 128-seat A319 and up to 188-seat 757-200 flying from Miami.

Boeing claims roughly 8% lower operating costs on the Max 8 than its "main competitor", referring to the Airbus A320neo. The savings are greater compared to previous generation aircraft, like the A319 and 757.

American previously announced that it will debut the 737-8 on flights between Miami and New York LaGuardia on 29 November.

The carrier is scheduled to take four 737-8s through the end of the year with the first due in September, its latest fleet plan shows. It is due to take 16 more in 2018 and has 100 aircraft on order.

Separately, American is not planning any new long-haul routes from Miami in 2018, it says in the newsletter. This follows the announcement of new Europe service from its Chicago O'Hare and Philadelphia hubs, as well as a launch date for its new Los Angeles-Beijing flight.

"We are keeping an eye on the economic rebound in Latin America and deepening our partnership with LATAM [Airlines Group]," the airline says.

American and LATAM signed a joint venture agreement in January 2016, however, they must wait for Brazil to ratify the US-Brazil open skies agreement before they can seek regulatory approval of the tie up.

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