The Wall Street Journal reports that American Airlines is looking to replace more than a third of its fleet, over 250 aircraft, and has begun discussions with both Airbus and Boeing.
Considering its entire fleet is made up of Boeing aircraft, it would seem that the American planemaker would have a significant advantage. According to the Journal however, American is strongly considering Airbus for at least part of the order.
According to two people familiar with the talks, American first hashed out a tentative deal with Airbus several weeks ago, without telling Boeing the two were in talks. American then went to Boeing with the Airbus offer and asked the Chicago aerospace giant to make a counter offer.
The package Airbus offered included an outline of financing terms that were very appealing to American, one of these people said, putting additional pressure on Boeing to make an equally aggressive bid.
American is looking at Airbus’ new A320neo as well as Boeing’s 737 to add to it’s already sizable 737 fleet. The airline is also looking at other aircraft outside of the narrowbody market but sources did not reveal specific planes.
Airbus has emerged over the last decade as the world’s largest commercial plane manufacturer but it has struggled to significantly crack the U.S. market. With the world’s third largest airline looking to place a massive order by summer’s end, you can bet Airbus and Boeing will both put very enticing offers in from of the airline.