This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Just a couple of hours after this leak emerged, American Airlines and Boeing have formally announced AA’s order of 47 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.


American Airlines has been on a fleet-renewal spree over the past few years, and it may be about to add a giant new order to it.

Since 2014, the world’s largest airline has taken delivery of almost 400 new aircraft, while retiring some of its oldest. This fleet renewal program has brought AA’s average aircraft age down to a youthful 10.3 years, the youngest of the three legacy US airlines. But, AA’s buying spree was supposed to be coming to an end. After bringing almost 100 new aircraft per year into the flock, AA is scheduled to take delivery of just 22 mainline aircraft (6 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 16 Boeing 737 MAX) in 2018.

At AA’s Media & Investor Day last September, AA executives spun the slowdown as a positive: “Fewer aircraft deliveries in future years reduces cash outflows and increases financial flexibility.”

As that graphic shows, American Airlines planned to slash its Capital Expenditures (“Capex”) from an average of over $5.7 billion per year from 2014-2017 to under $4 billion from 2018-2020. And, almost half of the spending in upcoming years would be in the form of “non-aircraft capex” — such as spending $1.8 billion in 2018 to make AA’s economy product worse while continuing to make premium cabins and lounges better.

However, it seems that purchase slowdown might not happen at all. A tweet Friday afternoon by @StratAero unveiled potentially massive news:

Indeed, as Google’s cache captured, Boeing’s homepage shortly listed this graphic announcing a massive new order of 47 new 787 Dreamliners by American Airlines:

Unfortunately, the “learn more” link was broken, so there was no additional information of what variants of the 787 Dreamliner American Airlines might be buying. However, at list prices for the cheapest Dreamliner, an order of 47 would cost over $11.2 billion. Airlines get discounts for orders of this magnitude, though.

Neither American Airlines nor Boeing would confirm the order. For now, we just have to speculate on whether Boeing unveiled an order prematurely or if perhaps the aircraft manufacturer accidentally ran an April Fools joke five days late.

Another Dreamliner order by American Airlines would make sense. According to Bloomberg, AA just ended unsuccessfully negotiations with Airbus for an additional order of A330s, which are similar in size to the 787. Plus, AA is trying to make it’s fleet more efficient by focusing on purchasing more of the aircraft it already has (Boeing 737s and Airbus A321s) and “harmonizing” the rest of its fleet. Considering the airline has bought 42 Dreamliners so far, an additional order of 47 would be a significant doubling down on the aircraft.

If this order is confirmed, it’ll be the largest order for AA since a massive purchase of 460 new aircraft in 2011. That order was split between Airbus (260 A320 family) and Boeing (200 Boeing 737s). Those combined orders were worth more than $38 billion — or more than three times the size of this rumored order. Still, this would be the largest twin-aisle aircraft order by an US-based airline in recent history.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.