It Looks Like American Is About To Order 47 Boeing 787s!

Filed Under: American

Hello more Boeing 787s, bye bye Airbus A350s? I’m guessing this news wasn’t supposed to be leaked on a Friday afternoon.

For a moment this afternoon Boeing’s website was updated with the headline “Boeing, American Airlines Sign Major Order For 47 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.” When you clicked on the link you were brought to a page that returned an error. The banner was quickly removed from Boeing’s website. It would appear that this is new news and not just a reposting of an old press release, given that American hasn’t ordered 47 787s at any point in the past.

American has already ordered 42 Boeing 787s, 35 of which they have in their fleet. This includes both the 787-8 and 787-9. American has been happy with these planes, and interestingly they also have 22 Airbus A350s on order. It’s not unusual for an airline to have both A350s and 787s, so as such the split order doesn’t raise any red flags.

However, American has been deferring delivery of these A350s for years. American should already have A350s in their fleet, though deliveries are now scheduled for 2020-2024. No matter how you slice it, it doesn’t look like American is terribly anxious to actually get these planes.

There have been further rumors the past couple of weeks that American was close to a 787 order, so this being posted to Boeing’s website today seems to confirm that. What remains to be seen is whether this was leaked just hours early, or days/weeks early. My guess is that we’ll officially hear about this announcement on Monday.

At this point I think it’s safe to assume that American’s A350 order isn’t happening. The big question is what variant of the 787s American is ordering. How many of these are 787-10s, which are potentially 777 replacements? Will American order more 787-8s which could potentially act as A330 replacements, or are they sticking to the larger variants?

If this does in fact happen, American will become the world’s largest 787 operator, with a total of 89 Boeing 787s in their fleet.

We’ll find out soon, I guess!

Update: The reliable JonNYC reports that American is ordering 22 787-7s (deliveries starting in 2020) and 25 787-9s (deliveries starting in 2023).

(Tip of the hat to @planeizer)

  1. 42+47 planes will make them the largest 787 operator in the world, with 89 planes. ANA will have 83, I believe.

  2. I read the headline too quickly and thought they were ordering 87 Boeing 747s. That would have been far more exciting!

    I think the A350 order was originally made by US, so it probably doesn’t fit with the fleet plan of the new airline. If the 787 can do the same job, it makes sense operationally to order more of them rather than add a small subfleet of A350s.

  3. Personally I prefer the A350 as it’s quieter and more comfortable. But anything beats a 767 in J!

  4. I see these replacing the 23 767’s before they replace the A332’s. The 9 A333’s are probably out the door and a part of the replacement strategy. Whats interesting is that would be a replacement for 32 planes. What will they do with the remaining 15 from this new order? Id imagine some 787-10’s as some of the older 772’s replacements and maybe some additional growth?

  5. Dump the 767s and 757s before the A332s. I thought the A350 was replacing the A330s? I prefer the A350 to the 787. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out. In any event, it’s a big improvement.

  6. I don’t think they are getting the 787-10 . all 9s. American is not going to order A332 or ever take delivery of A350s. This is upsetting news for former US Airways employees stationed in CLT and PHL .

    The 757, 767, and 777-200s will be phased out eventually and you will have the original 787-800s with the business class issues put on routes like Lima , Montevideo , and Quito.

  7. Rumors the past few weeks have mostly suggested American would order the 787-9 to replace a lot of retiring 767s. Lucky brings up an good question with regards to a possible 787-10 purchase to replace the current 777-200er. An order of 47 787s is interesting…it’s the exact number of 777-200s American currently has in its fleet.

  8. One day soon, Lucky and Gary will simultaneously post the same article and link it to each other.

  9. I think the 787s will replace the 767 and likely the 757s. The former operate long haul, and the crew based at AA (not US) bases, will need minimal retraining to switch from one Boeing aircraft to another. The A350 order will replace the US A330s at PHL and CLT, again limiting retraining for the pilots, cabin crew and maintainence teams. The US workforces are famously unionised, and this would keep everyone happy and keep the transition smooth.

  10. Of course they’re going for the crappier plane. The A350 is quieter and has wider seats. DL goes for the A350. The 787 is not as quiet, the FAs can be dictators of your widowshades, and the seats are noticeable smaller. Of course AA goes for the 787.

  11. You know Boeing must have given AA major discounts so they ditch the A350 and take some variant of the 787. As many have suggested, the 787-10 could replace the A330s based on range alone. But i see them ordering more 787-8 which is closest to 767.
    Wait for Trump to comment on this when it becomes official in 3,2….

  12. Hell, that US/HP A350 order was so old that it had been placed when it was a very different (and mostly inferior) airplane.

    I’m more surprised it was still on the books.

  13. Given the direction that AA has been going, I would expect 787-10s with 12 business-class seats, 24 premium economy, and 390 economy seats with 30-inch pitch. Entertainment will be via a seat-back card with meditation instructions.

  14. A huge blow for Airbus, and I prefer the A350. I think American was pressured on the Trump pro-America economy. Which is not a bad thing either. Would have been interesting to know the pricing details Boeing vs. Airbus.

  15. So sad to hear the news. I was looking forward to the additional of the a350 to the American fleet since they primarily operate a fleet of Boeing aircraft internationally with extremely tight seats in coach (9 abreast on the 787 and 10 abreast on the 777). Truly despise the 787 plane as it is not a Dreamliner for customers but rather a torture chamber. The A350 is a far superior plane from a comfort perspective in economy and when I fly economy internationally I purposefully do not purchase any flights from operating carriers who use the 787 on the route. I even let American know this in a recent survey when they asked if I had any other feedback but as is typical of American Airlines management they ignore their customer feedback even as an Executive Platinum.

    But once again American plays the greater fool as Gary Left says this time by choosing a inferior product in coach versus Delta who will primarily operate an Airbus fleet internationally thus providing a more spacious and comfortable seat. As such, as American moves closer and closer to an all Boeing Fleet internationally, I will not be able to choose them for international flights and instead will have to move my business to other international carriers or Delta.

  16. Also, reading the press release linked to by Andrew B above it states

    “American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL)today announced an order for 47 new Boeing 787 widebody aircraft consisting of 22 787-8s scheduled to begin arriving in 2020 and 25 787-9s scheduled to begin arriving in 2023. The 787-8s will replace American’s Boeing 767-300s, while later 787-9 deliveries will replace Airbus A330-300s and older 777-200 widebody aircraft. The entire order of new 787s will be powered with General Electric’s GEnx-1B engines.”

    So does that mean that the A330-300s which were originally supposed to be retired by 2018, then recently have been pushed back to 2020, are being delayed from retirement again until 2023? If so, does that mean that American Airlines may actually install premium economy and Main Cabin extra on these aircraft and refresh the main cabin to align it more with the look and feel of the American Airlines wide body fleet?

  17. Why does everyone blame Boeing for AA configuring their 787’s with 3-3-3 seating? American, or any other carrier, could configure it 3-2-3 with 19″ seats if their felt compelled. Having a seat at 17.2″ is only 3/4″ less than the 18″ on the A350’s. Is the 787 tighter than the A350 at 3-3-3? Sure. But reading these posts you’d think that the A350 is 50% wider and 95% quieter than the 787.

    ps- I’d rather be a coach passenger on a 787 than a dog on a future UA A350 flight.

  18. The average age of American’s A332s are 6.3 years old so they have another 15 years left in them at least. Many were delivered in 2009-2014.
    I also heard a rumor that American is getting 10 used A319s from Frontier.

  19. Boeing maybe a US company, however the forward fuselage of the 787 is manufactured in Japan, horizontal stabiliser in Italy, Center fuselage in Italy, landing gear structure in France, wingtips South Korea and doors in France …

    @jake the seating capacity is not the manufacturer’s decision

  20. Hahaha the excessive and dramatic hatred on here for the 787 is hilarious, especially since the difference in cabin width is less than a foot. @JC calling the 787 a “torture chamber” is really not rational, calm down.

    I can’t personally feel a difference in coach seats on the 787 and the A350 at all (they both suck in coach). I have always had a positive flight experience on long haul on the 787 though and love the windows, whereas I have found the A350 extremely dissapointing, with pretty bad interior build quality issues, which shows how subjective this all is. I also understand that FAs on most airlines HATE working the A350 due to the extremely cramped and inconvenient galley layouts. On my last several CX A350 flights this really showed, with unusually terrible service.

  21. Also the PEexperience is VASTLY better on the 787 since t gets 7-across seating (including on AA) rather than 8 across seating on most airlines with the A350.

  22. @Mark i dont get that either, they dont feel comfortable on COACH , which AA couldnt give a damn about, as American has a long an outstanding tradition of not giving a proper service, and they blame the manufacturer (BOEING) instead of AA policies. Nicely done lmao.

  23. Don’t understand all the hate Boeing is getting, and this is coming from a person who believes that the A350 is better than the 787. They do not choose the layout, blame AA for their configuration choices (namely 3-3-3 on the 787-8 and 3-4-3 on the 777-300ER), therefore the layout cannot be blamed on Boeing. Boeing doesn’t choose seat pitch or seat width either.

  24. Crappy choices by a crappy US airlines. No doubt this comes from White House.
    A350 are far more confortable and silent.
    Politics. Period.

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