Sources have said that Boeing Co. is near to winning a big contest to supply American Airlines with 787 Dreamliner jets, beating out Airbus its European rival.
The deal, which is not yet finalized, also is a big win for General Electric, whose engines will be used to power the aircraft, beating proposals sent from Rolls-Royce, said the same source.
A spokesperson for American said the company continues to look at its options for wide-body jetliners and is now focused on making the right decision for the airline and to date no final decisions have been taken.
American Airlines shares were down 2.5% on Friday, while Boeing shares moved higher by 0.4%. The expected win by Boeing deals Airbus’ A330neo another fresh blow after an order by Hawaiian Airlines was dropped for six of its jets in favor of Boeing’s 787.
Airbus updates its A330 series, which is very profitable, in 2014 with new engines from Rolls-Royce, but following an early foray, sales have turned sluggish.
Recently appointed chief of sales Eric Shulz is making increasing the sales of A330neo’s a top priority for 2018
American Airlines announced in January that it would be reviewing the wide-bodies from both Boeing and Airbus. Sources in the industry have said that American had been looking for between 25 and 30 wide-body planes, making a deal by Boeing potentially worth between $7 billion to $8.5 billion.
Analysts in the aircraft industry predicted that American’s decision would be very important for health of the Airbus A330neo program as a win could spur on more sales and prevent more defections.
This latest setback likely will cause Airbus to scramble to prevent the top buyer of the A330neo, and one of its biggest customers AirAsia, from changing its decision after it announced it was sticking with A330neo.
Executives at AirAsia visiting Boeing in early March, and said they were looking at the 787.
Doubts have been growing over the fate of a 28 A330neo Jet order by IranAir as part of a deal to purchase 110 jets from Airbus, as United States President Donald Trump is becoming more and more doubtful over the international sanctions deal with Iran.
Between AirAsia and IranAir, they make up more than 40% of the current order book for all A330neos.
Officials at Airbus said that other airlines have been looking at its A330neo and a freighter version of the plane could be introduced soon by Airbus.