American Airlines converts options for B737 MAX, defers Dreamliner deliveries

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More Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will be joining the fleet of American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), but the carrier will have to wait longer for some 787-9 aircraft. 

The US carrier announced on February 2, 2022 that it has agreed to purchase 30 additional 737 MAX 8 aircraft by converting existing purchase options. American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) said 15 of the aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2023 and the remaining 15 for 2024. 

At the same time, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) said it had agreed to defer deliveries of some 787-9 aircraft, originally due to be delivered from January 2023. The Dreamliner deliveries will now start in the fourth quarter of 2023 and run into 2027. American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) will therefore add four 787-9 aircraft to its fleet in 2023.  

Deliveries of Dreamliner aircraft have been suspended since May 2021 while Boeing works on manufacturing issues.  


The delivery delays have already forced American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) to change its summer flight schedules. Initially it had expected to have 13 787-9 aircraft for summer 2022, but in December 2021 said it was cutting that back to four aircraft.  

On an earnings call with analysts on January 20, 2022, American Airlines’ (A1G) (AAL) chief financial officer Derek Kerr confirmed the airline was receiving delay payments from Boeing.   

“There are delayed penalties that are paid and Boeing is paying the delayed penalties. If there are further delays, and it really does impact the summer much more than what we think it is, then — we’ve had good discussions with Boeing that they will compensate us for the losses that we’ve had for the delay of those aircraft,” Kerr told analysts. 

The US carrier cautioned on February 2, 2022 that the 787-9 delivery dates were still not set in stone.  “The delivery schedules presented herein represent our best estimates as of the date of this report. Actual delivery dates are subject to change based on various potential factors including production delays by the manufacturer.”  



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