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American Orders A321XLR


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American Airlines Group Inc. ordered 50 of the new, longest-range version of Airbus SE’s A321 aircraft, a person familiar with the matter said, adding to a spate of purchases that would limit room for Boeing Co.’s expected foray into mid-range flying.

The deal, which could be announced as soon as Wednesday at the Paris Air Show, includes 20 new A321XLR planes and the conversion of 30 existing A321neo orders, according to the person, who asked not to be named because the agreement hadn’t been made public. With a list price of $142 million, the 20 additional planes would be valued at about $2.84 billion.

The U.S. carrier is expected to use the plane, which would have the longest range of Airbus’s single-aisle offerings, as a replacement for its aging fleet of 34 Boeing 757-200 jets. American is the largest operator of Airbus aircraft, with 422. Including XLR deal, the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier has 115 orders for A321neo and XLR aircraft.

Airbus introduced the XLR at the Paris Air Show this week, while Boeing has put a decision on a middle-distance offering on the back burner as executives focus on returning the 737 Max to flight after two fatal accidents and a worldwide grounding.

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AA’s order of 200+ Airbus airframes a few years ago triggered Boeing’s reaction to re-invent their 737 rather than design something new to compete with A320 NEO’s. I’m sure Boeing is regretting that decision during their long week at Le Bourget. 


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