American Confirms Big 787 Order, Kills the A350 and Defers 737 MAXs

American’s new Boeing 787 order was leaked and now it’s official.

I wouldn’t have expected Boeing and American to intentionally announce an order for 47 Boeing 787s on a Friday evening. Surely the official release comes now as a result of the leak.

The 47 airframes are made up of:

  • 22 Boeing 787-8s scheduled to arrive starting in 2020
  • 25 Boeing 787-9s scheduled arrive starting in 2023

American Airlines Boeing 787-9

The 22 787-8s will replace American’s 24 Boeing 767-300s. That puts an end to the question of whether they’ll refurbish the 767 fleet or not. I reported two weeks ago that American’s CEO Doug Parker said the 767s needed to be retired.

The 787-9s will replace American’s 15 Airbus A330-300s and their older 777-200s.

American has officially terminated their order for 22 Airbus A350s that no one on the planet thought they’d ever take delivery of. And they’ve deferred delivery of 40 Boeing 737 MAXs that had been scheduled for 2020 – 2022. American has 100 MAX 8s on order of which they’ve received 7.

American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8

Don’t think that means you’ll get to avoid what one American pilot calls “the most miserable experience in the world.” American has already started retrofitting a legacy American Airlines 737-800 with the new standard domestic interior initially offered in the MAX. That means less legroom in first class, 30 inch pitch in economy, and even the eventual removal of seat back entertainment screens as they add more seats even into space that had been occupied by the plane’s lavatories.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I am sure they will squeeze 12 across in economy on their new 787-9. The 737 Max looks like a real delight to fly for 5 hours!

  2. As long as the seat pitch, width, padding, and IFE are the same or better, with equal or fewer middle seats, I say good for AA!

  3. Wonder if this had anything to do with Boeing decision to not revive the 767 production (although United was the supposed client there)

    I will miss 2-3-2. I miss widebodies lax-jfk on AA metal. I miss saver awards in coach on that route. Which is why I’ve been on Delta transcons

  4. The ultra dense configurations will be the death of some airlines. Not sure why they can’t see that. Passengers can give up ife and food but personal space has it’s limits. Otherwise we’d all just fly Spirit or Frontier all the time.

  5. I’ll put up with being cramped for an hour or so if I absolutely cannot avoid it. But no longer than that. I don’t understand AA’s thinking here.

  6. those little seats and no luggage allowed flights are obviously way over priced compared to other airlines. I wouldn’t fly them.

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