Wednesday, October 15, 2008

AMR to buy the 787

(Image Courtesy of American Airlines)
Well after years of waiting AMR, the parent of American Airlines is finally buying the 787. The surprise is that they are buying 42 of the larger 787-9s and not the 787-8. It was widely assumed that when AA pulled the trigger on the 787 order it would be for the -8 version. AMR also has options on 58 more 787s for delivery between 2015 and 2020.

Now this is not a finalized order, it's only a purchase agreement. First delivery is for September 2012 but AA must give Boeing notice of its intent to pay for and take delivery of each 787 18 months prior to delivery. AMR said in its press release that it must conclude a new contract with its pilots union prior to going forward. This means that AMR must conclude an agreement by March 2011 in order for this purchase agreement to be finalized with Boeing.

This part reminds all of us of the issue that Air Canada had when it pursued it's widebody fleet renewal with Boeing. AC had to also finalize a contract with its own pilots union before the purchase agreement could be finalized. When the pilots union rejected managements contract (due to infighting within the union) the contract was scuttled only to be resurrected some months later after the union issues were resolved.

Boeing is still dealing with its own union issues and there is no end in sight unfortunately. 787 #1 is almost all ready and was probably about a month from being shop complete when the strike hit. The engines are on and the static test airframe passed the critical high blow tests in late September with two more critical tests that need to be completed before first flight (those should be close to being completed by the end of the month). However, Dreamliner 2 must also be completed prior to first flight in order to undertake vibrations tests before first flight. Al in all it looks like first flight will be pushed to January - February of 2009 at the earliest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When this purchase becomes a done deal, the 787 would have close to 940 airplanes sold. With all the critics and the problems faced by Boeing and its machinists, this is an incredible achievement for a new plane, and a company. Truly remarkable!