American Just Told Boeing It Won't Purchase the 737 Max Without Financing
American Airlines informed Boeing that it wouldn't be purchasing 17 737 Max airplanes unless it can secure financing, according to CNBC.
The 17 737 Max planes are already built, but can't be delivered until the Federal Aviation Administration recertifies the aircraft and removes the grounding order in the near future. The 737 Max has been grounded since March 2019, after two crashes killed 346 people. During the 15 months that the planes have been grounded, the financing for some of the planes expired, leaving them unfunded.
Boeing Capital now has to arrange a financing plan for American, such as leasing the planes to the carrier. A third-party aircraft leasing company could also finance the planes. Boeing did not comment on the situation with American but did say “Our focus continues to be on working with global regulators on the rigorous process they have put in place to safely return the 737 MAX to commercial service. We are not going to comment on discussions with our customers. It is an unprecedented time for our industry as operators confront a steep drop in traffic. We continue to work closely with our customers to support their operations, while balancing supply and demand with the realities of the market.”
American already has 24 Max planes in its fleet, and another 76 are ordered from Boeing. There have been rumors that these orders could be canceled, but more reputable sources say the possible cancellation only involves the 17 unfunded planes.
Recently, CFO Derek Kerr stated the airline would not take delivery of new airplanes unless it was financed on terms that were deemed acceptable prior to the pandemic.