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American announces sale-leaseback deal for 35 Boeing 737-800s…

Posted on 15 July 2011

American Airlines announced Friday a sale-leaseback deal that will finance up to 35 Boeing 737-800 aircraft.


The deal covers 29 firm deliveries of the aircraft, of which 26 were previously ordered and three are new orders. American said the deal also includes 6 more 737-800 aircraft that American can purchase and if exercised, would be delivered in 2013-2014.


“This arrangement is a great reflection of the flexibility we have to efficiently raise capital in support of AMR’s strategic fleet renewal efforts,” said Bella Goren, chief financial officer of American’s parent company, AMR Corp.


AerCap, an independent aircraft leasing firm, will buy the aircraft from American and lease the aircraft back to the Fort Worth-based carrier under the financial arrangement.


There have been several media reports in the past few weeks that American was looking to overhaul its domestic fleet. The carrier is said to be in negotiations with Airbus and the Boeing Co. to buy up to 250 narrow-body aircraft at a cost of about $15 billion.


American is currently in the process of replacing its aging MD-80 and Boeing 757 fleet with the more fuel efficient Boeing 737-800. As of Dec. 31, the carrier had 224 MD-80s that were an average of 20 years old and 124 Boeing 757-200 aircraft that were an average of 16 years old.


In its sale-leaseback announcement, American updated its aircraft delivery schedule. As of July 1, the carrier said it will receive 15 Boeing 737-800s in 2011, another 28 in 2012 and 14 in 2013. American also has six Boeing 777-300 aircraft on order for delivery in late 2012 and 2013.


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