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American orders 260 new planes, including Boeing Max 10s, and plans bigger first class

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American Airlines flight 718, a Boeing 737 Max, takes of from Miami International Airport on its way to New York on December 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

American Airlines said Monday that it is ordering 260 new narrow-body jets, including dozens of Boeing’s long-delayed 737 Max 10.

The order includes 85 of Boeing’s 737 Max 10 planes and 85 of the Airbus A321neo, aircraft it says will help it upgauge on domestic and short-haul international routes. The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline is also ordering 90 Embraer E175 planes.

American’s order is a vote of confidence for Boeing, which is struggling with a series of production flaws and certifications of new planes that have taken years longer than originally expected. Scott Kirby, the CEO of rival carrier United Airlines, said earlier this year that his airline has been weighing fleet plans without its Max 10s because of the delays.

American said it would also convert orders for 30 Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, a model that is already a staple of its fleet, into the larger 737 Max 10s.

American is planning to grow its first class on some of its narrow-body planes, the carrier also said Monday alongside its first investor day in more than six years. Starting in 2025, it will revamp its older Airbus A320 and A319 planes to increase the number of first-class seats.

Airlines have been grappling with high demand for first class and other premium seats as more customers rack up points with credit cards and appear willing to shell out for more space on board.

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