American in Talks for 100 Airbus A320 aircraft

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by demkr, Jun 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. demkr
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    demkr Silver Member

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    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-...talks-for-100-airbus-single-aisle-planes.html

    AMR Corp. (AMR)’s American Airlines, the operator of an all-Boeing Co. (BA) jet fleet, is in talks with Airbus SAS about buying at least 100 narrow-body planes, two people familiar with the matter said.
    A decision by the board of the third-largest U.S. carrier may come as soon as July, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions aren’t public. The jets from Airbus’s A320 series would replace less-efficient aircraft such as Boeing 757s and MD-80s, the people said.

    I certainly hope AA is not retiring the 757 especially after the (planned) refurbishments of this year....but none the less an exciting development
     
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  2. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Do we really believe that? If AA were to buy Airbus it would be a big blow for Boeing. Were this to happen I'd wager Boeing will opt for a fast 737 replacement, maybe even a NEO program. Somehow this seems like a negotiating ploy on AA part rather than a serious plan but one never knows...
     
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  3. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    What is really in it for AA to bring in Airbus planes? New maintenance and other training needs. I agree with jbcarioca here. I do not put much into this report yet.
     
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  4. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    While I appreciate that the 757 isn't the most efficient aircraft, it remains my favorite narrowbody to fly and I typically seek it out if I am choosing my schedule and have a bit of flexibility.

    Regardless of my little wishes, it would seem that exapanding the 737 fleet would be more efficient than bringing in an entire new line.
     
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  5. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Could Airbus make a deal that Boeing could not be in a position to make if it included attractive financing?
     
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  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Assuming the NEO, higher efficiency compared to existing Boeing 737 aircraft?

    And if they replace the MD-80s, they presumably eventually eliminate one fleet type and its maintenance and training needs, so bringing in a new type would just return them to the current status quo.

    Lots of (successful/profitable) airlines have sub fleets from different manufacturers. I have the feeling that the quest for commonality is somewhat overrated. But then, I am just an observer with no insider knowledge and could be completely wrong :)
     
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  7. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    Well if the NEOs are not due until at least 2016, it wouldn't be a major thing yet.

    But I guess I am all for the most efficient planes they can get. I know my flying has been cut in half this year due to increasing costs. Hopefully they find a way to control them.

    I guess replacing an entire fleet with another is likely to happen. I just figured if they were already bringing in the 737s for the md80s, they'd stick with it.
     
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  8. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    It seems to me that financing will be the big question, coupled with improved operating economy. It does not make too much sense to make a large 737 order without new options and Boeing probably will go all-new. AA can hardly wait because the old MD's are on their last legs and the 757's are becoming very expensive to operate. Airbus, to penetrate the all-Boeing giant, would be willing to pay a large price, I imagine, but I'd be surprised if they'd do it for a 100 plane order. For 300, ie, fleet renewal, they would probably do whatever it would take.

    As somebody else commented the training is an issue. There are hordes of excess MD and D737 drivers around still, but the A320 ones are not in surplus. Conversion involves some fairly major retraining in automatic emergency reactions and malfunction responses that are very different in Airbus current generation than they are for the old MD and Boeing equipment. Those are often overstated but AA can drive hard bargains on such issues if they want to.
     
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  9. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    This is how AA will bring Boeing to the table for lowball negotiations. Just smells like a ploy to get better discounts from BA. Can't blame 'em I guess.
     
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  10. pauleeepaul
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    pauleeepaul Active Member

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    Nothin' personal just business.
     
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  11. Pizzaman
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    I don't claim to be close to an expert on Airbus. I have been a stockholder of Boeing for quite a while. My general sense of the situation is that Airbus doesn't really have the cash to finance a large order with a sweet deal. It could borrow money from the government, but that could run them astray of WTO stuff (nowhere near an expert on that).

    As has been said above, this really feels more like a negotiating stance with Boeing. Now, AA could end up with a sweet deal from Airbus by accident that they can't refuse. Interesting to see how this plays out.
     
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  12. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    The article states "...American Airlines, the operator of an all-Boeing Co. (BA) jet fleet..."

    Isn't their fleet about 40% McDonnell Douglas?
     
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  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Yes, but those are now (after the Boeing purchase of MDC in 1997) also counted as Boeing aircraft, I think. Also, AA used to also operate Airbus A300 aircraft until not too long ago. So it seems they don't exactly have a history of being a one-manufacturer airline.
     
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  14. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    Interesting
     
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  15. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    They also have had a fair variety with the various Eagle companies from SAAB 340, ATR, EMB, Fokker (also mainline IIRC). The present composition is:
    http://www.aa.com/i18n/amrcorp/corporateInformation/facts/fleet.jsp
    AA fleet.jpeg

    This is the active fleet according to AAL. They also still own 33 A300's that are in storage. For years, though, almost all the mainline fleet has been Boeing for larger aircraft and MD for smaller ones. They did operate at one time or other L1011 and DC10, among others. The huge opportunities are accentuated because the:
    MD-80 are 20 years old on average:
    B757 17
    B767 19
    B777 11

    They seem to have 35 B737-800 on order but they have 370 old narrow-body aircraft to replace. With the fleet age it is probable that they cannot wait for a new Boeing 737/757 replacement. Thus, looks good for Airbus!
    AA does have 42 B787 on order and 58 options. These seem to be destined to B767 replacement and international expansion.
    The also have a few 777 on order, 7 200ER and 6 300ER, which probably will be all route expansion. Thus the odds are good that some of those older 777 will be replaced with larger B787/A350 when the time come. Considering the very long lead time on those larger aircraft the time is coming soon.

    On balance I still suspect the AA strong preference is Boeing, but the operating cost of 737NG vs A320NEO is a huge issue. Eitehr Boeing steps up with something outstanding or AA will buy Airbus.

    I wish I could be a fly on the wall for these discussions. Somehow I suspect they may be the most interesting ones of the decade.
     
  16. flacey8
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    flacey8 Silver Member

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    just my thoughts on why AA is thinking about buying Airbus planes:
    1) get a better deal when AA is really going to buy, whether from Boeing or Airbus (now this is smart)
    2) put some pressure on Boeing to make a decision about their 737
    3) AA really need some new planes!!!!
     

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