Boeing wins $12 billion contract to supply jets for American Airlines, beating Airbus

A United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes off at Los Angeles International Airport.
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Boeing has won a closely watched contest to supply 47 new 787 Dreamliner jets to American Airlines, beating European rival Airbus for the highly coveted order of widebody, long-haul aircraft.

"This was a difficult decision between the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 and A330neo and we thank both manufacturers for their aggressive efforts to earn more of American's business. In the end, our goal to simplify our fleet made the 787 a more compelling choice," American Airlines President Robert Isom said in a statement.

The deal, at a list price of more than $12 billion, is the latest in a series of blows to the Airbus A330neo. It comes just weeks after Hawaiian Airlines dropped an order for six Airbus A330-800neo jets in favor of the 787, leaving that variant of long-haul A330neo with no customers.

"This new order is a powerful endorsement of the 787 family's unique passenger appeal and unmatched ability to help airlines open new routes and grow profitably," Boeing Chief Executive Kevin McAllister said in a statement.

Reuters had previously reported that Boeing was primed to emerge triumphant in the hard-fought widebody contest, bringing along in its victory engine maker General Electric, whose engines are expected to power the Boeing aircraft.

As part of the deal, American and Boeing have reached an agreement to defer the delivery of 40 737 narrowbody jets previously scheduled to arrive between 2020 and 2022 to "better align with planned retirements of other narrowbody aircraft."