American Airlines Places the Largest Aircraft Order in the History of Aviation

American Airlines placed the largest aircraft order in commercial aviation history Wednesday, committing to purchase 130 Airbus A320 family aircraft, 130 A320neos, 100 Boeing 737NGs and also committing to order 100 of a new re-engined variation of the Boeing 737.

American Airlines announced that Boeing and Airbus will help finance the aircraft.

“With today’s news, we expect to have the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleet among our peers in the U.S. industry within five years,” American Airlines Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey said in a statement. “This new fleet will dramatically improve our fuel and operating costs, while enhancing our financial flexibility.”

In addition to the firm order for 100 737NGs, American accepted options for 40 additional aircraft of that type. Boeing and American announced that they will work to finalize the order for 100 of the re-engined 737s as soon as possible.

American said it will begin taking delivery of the newly ordered aircraft in 2013, with the last of the 460 total aircraft committed to arriving in 2022.

Mr. Arpey added, “The transactions we have been able to structure represent an opportunity that is virtually unprecedented in our industry’s history. We are putting our partners’ capital—more capital than we would otherwise be able to raise effectively on our own—to work for our company.”