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American Airlines Takes Delivery of Two New Boeings

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American Airlines has taken delivery of two Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The new airplanes, which go into service today (14 April), are the first of 76 737-800s that will arrive through the first quarter of 2011.

The new deliveries will be added to American's current fleet of 77 737- 800s and are intended to eventually replace American's fleet of approximately 270 MD-80s.

"Even as we battle many significant challenges, we must remain focused on our long-term future, which is what these new 737s represent," said Gerard Arpey, Chairman and CEO of AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines and American Eagle. "While our MD-80s remain an important part of our fleet and continue to serve our company and customers well, our new 737s are a vital investment that will benefit our customers, employees, shareholders and the communities we serve. They will help keep our product competitive while offering cost, environmental and operational benefits.

In spite of an increasingly challenging credit market, Arpey noted that American has been fortunate to be able to secure financing commitments to cover the majority of its expected 737 deliveries. "With the financing commitments we have in place, we now have the ability to finance our expected 737 deliveries well into the fourth quarter of 2010, and we continue to pursue a number of additional financing opportunities," Arpey said.

The new airplanes, which will carry 160 passengers, offer many cost, environmental and customer benefits. They include numerous upgrades and enhancements from previous airplanes and a configuration aimed at improving the passenger experience and operational efficiency.

New First Class and coach seats will provide improved living space and comfort. In addition, new "big bins" for overhead storage will significantly increase passenger cabin luggage storage capacity by allowing roll-aboards to be loaded wheels first, increasing standard roll-aboards storage capacity by almost double.

Inflight entertainment will include 20 drop-down LCD monitors mounted in passenger service units under overhead storage bins. The new planes have 110V AC power available to all passengers - a first in American Airlines fleet history and a customer convenience that ends the need for power adapters. Travelers can now plug in laptops and other portable electronic equipment just as they would at the home or office. There is one power port per seat in First Class and two ports per three seats in coach class.

Over time, American plans to equip these aircraft with AirCell's Gogo Inflight Internet service, which will allow passengers to surf the Web, check e-mail, and send instant messages conveniently from the air.

The 737-800s will burn 35% less fuel than an MD-80 on a seat-mile basis. They will also be outfitted with Blended Winglets, similar to those installed on American's current fleet. These wing tip extensions provide significant operating, fuel efficiency and environmental benefits, such as reduced noise on takeoff and approach and lower emissions through lower cruise thrust. 

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