FORT WORTH , Texas, March 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Airlines,Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AMR Corp. (NYSE: AMR), today said that ithas accelerated its fleet renewal plan by beginning the replacement process for a portion of its MD-80 fleet. The Company said that the decision also provides it with substantial fleet flexibility in the future.
Following approval by AMR's and American's Board of Directors, American has notified The Boeing Company of its intent to begin pulling forward the delivery of 47 Boeing 737-800 aircraft under a previously existing purchase commitment. American initiated this process by notifying Boeing that American will take delivery in early 2009 of three of these aircraft previously scheduled for delivery in 2016. American intends to continue pulling forward deliveries of the other aircraft from their current 2013-2016 delivery schedules into the 2009-2012 time frame.
American emphasized, however, that any decisions to accelerate aircraft deliveries will depend on such factors as future economic and industry conditions and the financial condition of the Company.
"We believe that beginning to replace some of our MD-80s in a measured way makes economic sense and represents prudent and strategic reinvestment in our business that will bring long-term benefits to shareholders, customers, and employees," said AMR Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey. "Our existing agreement with Boeing gives us ample flexibility for our long-term fleet plan. While the MD-80 remains an excellent aircraft that serves us and our customers well, the new 737s will be a great addition to our fleet that will lower our operational costs, boost the fuel efficiency of our fleet, and also bolster our efforts to lower emissions and noise levels."
Arpey noted that American's long-term purchase contract with Boeing gives the Company substantial fleet flexibility and includes the right to purchase on short notice additional 737s well beyond the 47 committed aircraft as well as the right to purchase 787 aircraft.
He also stressed that the purchase contract with Boeing gives American the ability to obtain the 47 aircraft and additional 737 aircraft with a delivery schedule that best meets the needs of the business, without having to make large firm delivery commitments at a specific time, and that American's "purchase rights" give it the ability to acquire such additional aircraft from Boeing with as little as 15 months notice.
Arpey cited American's plan to replace some of its MD-80s with 737s as the latest example of the Company's efforts to reduce operating costs and fuel consumption. American estimates that the 737 consumes 25 percent less fuel per available seat mile than an MD-80.
Arpey also stated that American has a goal to improve the fuel efficiency of its fleet by more than 20 percent by 2020, and he emphasized that today's announcement is a step toward achieving that objective.
The effort to improve fleet fuel efficiency is a part of a company wide initiative to reduce fuel consumption to both lower costs and reduce emissions. In addition, as part of its Fuel Smart program that has reduced the Company's consumption of jet fuel by about 95 million gallons annually, American continues to add winglets to its 737 and 757 fleets and is also saving fuel by employing high-speed tractors to tow airplanes on the ground and by taxiing aircraft with a single engine when feasible. American has set a goal in 2007 to increase Fuel Smart annualized consumption savings to 125 million gallons.
Feeder arrangement expected to continue
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