In the midst of a travel boom, American Airlines revealed on Wednesday that it has begun talking to top aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing about placing a fresh order for narrowbody aircraft. The timing of these discussions coincides with airlines’ urgent need to restock their fleets in order to keep up with the surge in demand for travel.
In earlier reports, Bloomberg News cited sources familiar with the situation to say that the airline was in talks to place an order for at least 100 new jets with the manufacturers. Industry sources told Reuters that the conversations are still in the beginning stages and that no decisions are final.
American stated in a statement that “We are talking to Boeing and Airbus about our narrowbody aircraft needs for the latter half of this decade and beyond.”
American Airlines hinted to its limited fleet replacement requirements during an investor call last month, despite the fact that their planning was still in the early stages. The airline said that “we expect aircraft capex to average about $3.5 billion per year for the next several years and likely through the end of the decade.” With agreements for further acquisitions, the deal size may exceed 200 jets.
The airline is reportedly considering the 737 Max from Boeing and the A321neo from Airbus to replace its 737-800, A319, and A320 single-aisle models later this decade. Negotiations have been ongoing for a while.