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By now, you may have heard our exciting news: On July 20, American Airlines announced the largest aircraft order in aviation history, striking agreements with two of the industry’s finest aircraft manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing. I am proud to say that American is making significant strides to improve the flight experience — for you, the customer — from many angles, and our fleet-renewal effort is at the very core of those actions.

There’s a new American Airlines coming — for those traveling on our airline, for our employees and for the communities we serve. The new deal means new planes, new seats, new in-flight entertainment options and new amen?ities. With each step we take, we’re looking to transform not only our airline but the industry as a whole, being the first to offer the newest and most innovative products and services that today’s travelers are looking for when flying.

Our plan is to simplify our domestic fleet to just two families — the Boeing 737 family and the Airbus 320 family. Each family has many commonalities, which will help us to not only streamline operations but to reduce costs for fuel and maintenance. We plan to purchase 260 Airbus aircraft from the A320 family with options for additional aircraft, and in 2013, we will begin taking delivery of 130 current-generation aircraft. In 2017, we will start acquiring 130 A320 family aircraft with Airbus’ “Neo” next-generation engine technology. We’ll be the first U.S. airline to have aircraft with this new technology, which is about 15 percent more fuel efficient than today’s models.

We will also continue and expand our long-standing relationship with The Boeing Company. For over 50 years, Boeing has been an important part of our fleet and operations at American. This partnership with Boeing continues, and with this new agreement, American will take delivery of a total of 200 additional aircraft from the 737 family, with 100 options for additional 737s and the ability to access other fleet types within the 737 family. American is the first airline to commit to Boeing’s new evolution of the 737 Next-Generation, which is expected to provide a new level of economic efficiency and operational performance, pending final confirmation of the program by Boeing. The new aircraft we plan to take from Boeing and Airbus will replace our current MD80s, older Boeing 737-800s, Boeing 757-200s and Boeing 767-200s. You’ll begin to see our fleet change right before your eyes.

When you step onboard our new aircraft, you’ll see new features and amenities. The planes will have additional overhead-bin space, meaning more room for your personal belongings; a modern, contemporary atmosphere with enhanced lighting options, offering more comfort no matter what time of day you’re flying; and the latest in Wi-Fi and in-flight video, which will help keep you productive and entertained throughout your journey.

Along with new features and amenities, our dedication to improving our environmental footprint is at the center of these aircraft agreements. Through our onboard recycling efforts, our maintenance initiatives to conserve energy and other procedures we’ve put in place, we have looked for ways to help us reach our long-term goal to improve our fuel efficiency by 30 percent within 20 years. Our new planes from Boeing and Airbus will not only give American the youngest fleet among our peers in five years, but the planes will have greater fuel efficiency, making ours the most fuel-efficient fleet among our U.S. peers. To find out more about this and our other ?corporate-responsibility efforts, please visit us at www.aa.com/corporateresponsibility.

We have an ongoing commitment to modernize our fleet, and we want to reward your loyalty by giving you the best experience in the ?industry. In addition to our new Boeing and Airbus orders, we plan to take delivery of eight Boeing 777-300ER wide-body aircraft in 2012 and 2013; seven 777-200 wide-body aircraft from 2013 through 2016; and 42 state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliners starting in late 2014. Apart from the fleet-renewal efforts, we’re also working on Admirals Club facility refurbishments throughout the network, ?expanded mobile solutions in flight and at the airports, and in-flight entertainment and productivity options across the entire fleet. I am excited to see all the new changes coming to you in the near future from American. We continue to make these investments that are important to you, and we want to know what you’re thinking and if you have questions or concerns. Write to us at www.aa.com/customerrelations.

Craig S. Kreeger
Senior Vice President – Customer Experience
American Airlines