Friday, April 6, 2018

American Airlines pulls the trigger on mega 787 order

American Airlines and Boeing announced a firm 47 strong order for the 787.  The order consists of 22 787-8s which will start arriving in 2020 and 25 787-9s which will be delivered starting in 2023.  These airplanes will be used to replace the 767-300ER, A330-300, and older 777-200ER thus simplifying American's widebody fleet.  The order includes another 28 options for the 787.

American Airlines will cancel the order for 22 Airbus A350 that was ordered by US Airways in a pre-merger deal.  American is also deferring deliveries of 40 737MAX airplanes that were to be delivered between 2020 and 2022.

While this is a firm order what is unclear is if this is an exercise of 58 787 options that American Airlines held as part of their original order.  Boeing will only confirm that the new order is firm and booked.  If the two orders were taken as separate then it would mean that American Airlines order (firm + options) 175 787s which doesn't seem realistic even for an airline as large as American.  A more reasonable conclusion is that the new order is a partial exercise of the 58 options plus adding more options for future replacement and growth.

Currently American's widebody fleet (not including the 787) is made up of the following:

A330-200 - 15
A330-300 - 9
767-300ER - 23
777-200ER - 47
777-300ER - 20

Excluding the 77-300ER which are young and should be in their fleet for years to come, the total near term widebody replacements that American will need is 94 airplanes (encompassing all the A330, 767 and 777-200).  By my reasoning, American has orders for 93 787s - 47 firm new order, 7 firm current order, 39 options (11 current order options + 28 new order options).  This will be enough to simply their widebody fleet to just three types by around 2026 or so the 777-300ER, 787-8 and 787-9.  It is possible that American can use the 39 options for the 787-10 (or any future improved model of the 787).

This order is a shot in the arm for the 787-8 whose orders have been lagging as of late as many customers have been opting for the larger 787-9.  In the futrue the 39 options will probably be used for A330-200 replacement (787-9) and 777-200ER replacement (mix of 787-9 and 787-10).

With this booked order, Boeing now has 1366 order for the 787 (440 787-8, 755 787-9 and 171 787-10).

Here's the text of Boeing's Press Release:

Boeing, American Airlines Sign Major Order for 47 787 Dreamliners

World's largest airline to more than double its Dreamliner fleet

Boeing and American Airlines today announced the world's largest airline will more than double its 787 Dreamliner fleet with a new order for 47 of the super-efficient airplane plus 28 options. The 47 787s are valued at more than $12 billion at list prices and makes American Airlines the largest 787 customer in the Western Hemisphere.
American originally ordered 42 787 Dreamliners and has been using the airplanes' tremendous fuel efficiency and superior passenger amenities to open new routes around the world, including Asia Pacific and Europe, and boost its network efficiency. While American still has more airplanes on the way from its initial order, the airline is buying the additional Dreamliners – 22 787-8s and 25 787-9s – to further modernize and expand its fleet.
"We are extremely honored that American Airlines, is deepening its commitment to the 787 Dreamliner. This new order is a powerful endorsement of the 787 family's unique passenger appeal and unmatched ability to help airlines open new routes and grow profitably," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister.
Built with lightweight composite materials and powered by advanced engines, the Dreamliner family lowers operating costs by more than 20 percent compared to previous airplanes, and nearly 10 percent compared to today's competing jets.
American becomes the latest airline to place a repeat order for the 787 Dreamliner. More than half of the program's 71 customers have done so, which has helped the 787 program achieve more than 1,350 orders to date.
"We are showing again and again that the 787 Dreamliner is the champion in its class. The airplane's tremendous value proposition explains why it has become the fastest selling twin-aisle jet in history," said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company. "And when we match the Dreamliner with Boeing's suite of services, it is a combination that delivers unbeatable value for our customers."
Boeing's Global Services division provides American Airlines with efficiency tools such as Airplane Health Management and Toolbox, which help the airline improve operational performance and improve dispatch reliability.
The 787-8 Dreamliner can fly 242 passengers up to 7,355 nautical miles (13,620 km) in a typical two-class configuration. The 787-9, a stretch of the 787-8, can fly 290 passengers up to 7,635 nautical miles.
About Boeing and American Airlines' history
The relationship between Boeing and American Airlines spans over 80 years. Some of the key shared milestones include:
  • June 1936: American becomes the first to fly the Douglas DC-3 in commercial service
  • January 1959: American uses the Boeing 707 to offer the first coast-to-coast jet service
  • March 1961: American is the first in-service with the Boeing 720B
  • July 1971: The first DC-10 delivery goes to American
  • May 2015: American flies its first revenue flight with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.


skywalker said...

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

Christopher D. Dye said...

Validates B's original sense of what the market would become when they launched the 787 nearly 18 years (and B's numerous examples of how NOT to build a new plane) ago; namely, a single plane family that could serve PTP and LR routes AND in time replace both the 767, 772 & A330/340. Contrast this with A's misguided mkt prediction in 2000, that the mkt was for huge planes and that it was OK to equip smaller LR planes with 4 engines (A343. 345 & 346).

Perhaps most important here is that AA is saying (over and over again) that it will no longer tolerate fleet types in small numbers, only large numbers, and that the 789 is good enough to make the 359 unnecessary. Not good for A.

Tarek said...

I find it interesting that American's management team - largely the same team that booked the A350 order when managing US Airways - decided against the A350 order. If I remember correctly, that management team was very cozy with Airbus as they bailed out US Airways when they went bankrupt.

Contrast that to the DL/NWA merger where the DL team who booked the A350 order got out of the 787 order that NWA had booked.....

Interesting dynamics....wonder if this means American will head back towards an all-Boeing fleet?

Andrew Boydston said...

American Airlines 787 ordering signals a Sea-change event which should not be overlooked as this order impacts the marketplace as a whole. The macro view of this deal suggests more 787 orders could raise Boeing's 787 order book to a 140 787 booked by year's end.
The micro view is what's being discussed at this time and American is going head to against both United and Delta. If American Airlines shows a winning hand with this ordering of these 787's, Delta Airlines will have to alter its tactics and take on more Boeing product than its current preponderance for Delta product is indicated. United is currently on the same track that American Airlines has just now committed to. Delta is rapidly becoming the odd airline out in this horse race.

Nick Johnson said...

I wonder whether American will wait for a 787-10ER upgrade to replace the bulk of its 777-200ERs. That would make a perfect replacement for that family.

Christopher D. Dye said...

Nick, do you have any info that B is currently moving toward a 7878-10ER? My latest info is that B is not considering this at all now because they are focusing on the 777x-9 and -8. I have not heard even a suggestion that B will do the -10ER after the -8 and -9 are safely on their ways, altho doing so would be consistent with B's addition of -ER status to the 777-200/ER and -300/ER.

Tracey Greenway said...

The 787 went to Bahrain as publicity at the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix. The airbase is near the Sakir circuit.