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)