American changing jet orders with Boeing, Airbus

In bankruptcy case, American Airlines making changes in jet orders with Boeing and Airbus

Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- American Airlines says it has renegotiated jet orders with Boeing Co. to save money and in some cases get a slightly smaller, less expensive version of Boeing's new 787 jet.

The 787, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner, was delayed during production and has been beset by problems recently, including a fire aboard a Japan Airlines 787 last week in Boston. Federal safety officials are reviewing the plane's design and production.

American said Monday that it updated deals to buy Boeing 737 and 787 aircraft to save money and move up deliveries of the 787s to November 2014. American said it could substitute up to 20 of the 787-8 planes for 787-9s. The 787-8 is 20 feet shorter, holds up to 250 passengers, and has a list price of $206.8 million, while the 787-9 holds up to 290 passenger and lists for $243.6 million, although airlines routinely get discounts.

American has never said publicly how much it would pay for the planes.

The deal also would settle Boeing claims arising from American's bankruptcy filing. American and Boeing settled on the deal Friday, the same day that the Federal Aviation Administration announced its review of the 787 following the incident in Boston and others including fuel leaks and cracked windshields.

American said it also agreed to changes in delivery dates for planes it will buy from European aircraft maker Airbus.

American and parent AMR Corp. are operating under bankruptcy protection, and the agreements with the plane makers would need approval by the court. A hearing on the changes was set for Jan. 23.

The fleet update comes as American prepares to emerge from bankruptcy protection after more than a year. The airline is considering whether to merge with US Airways Group Inc. or stay on its own.

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