Airbus and American Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMR Corporation, have signed a firm contract for American to acquire 260 modern, fuel-efficient Airbus A320 Family aircraft. The contract calls for flexibility for the airline to take delivery of A319s, A320s and A321s, with 130 featuring Airbus’ New Engine Option (neo). All 260 aircraft will feature large, fuel-saving wingtip devices known as Sharklets.
The deal between Airbus and American was announced at the airline’s Dallas/Ft. Worth hub. The airline plans to announce its choice of engines to power the aircraft at a later date.
“We are pleased to add the Airbus single-aisle family as an important component of our fleet modernization strategy,” said AMR and American Airlines President Tom Horton. “The A320 Family of aircraft will help us achieve improved fuel efficiency and other operational savings, while offering our customers state-of-the-art technology and an enhanced travel experience. We look forward to a successful partnership with Airbus.”
“We are extremely proud and gratified once again to count American Airlines among Airbus’ global customers,” said Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders. “The order by American represents a strong endorsement of our constantly improving single-aisle product line. All of us at Airbus look forward to seeing the American Airlines livery on A320 Family aircraft – and we look forward to fulfilling our commitment to providing the people of American, as well as their passengers, with the highest level of support and service in the industry.”
The A320 Family is recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. The aircraft feature the latest technology available today, the widest and most comfortable cabin, and the highest degree of operational commonality. With 99.7% reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle aircraft today. More than 4700 A320 Family aircraft are in airline operation around the world today.
The A320neo, launched in late 2010, is the latest product innovation at Airbus. These new A319, A320 and A321 models feature a choice of two new engines – the PurePower PW1100G from Pratt & Whitney or the LEAP-X from CFM International. Together, the Sharklets and new engine choices result in a 15 percent fuel burn reduction, corresponding to an annual carbon dioxide reduction of 3,600 metric tons per aircraft. Compared to prior-generation narrowbody aircraft, the fuel savings could easily amount to up to 30 percent. Since launching the innovative product in December of last year, Airbus has received orders and commitments for almost 1200 A320neo Family aircraft.
Airbus is the leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive family of airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. More than 10,700 Airbus aircraft have been sold to more than 440 customers and operators worldwide, and more than 6,700 have been delivered since the company first entered the market in the early seventies.