Published: 11 July 2011
(Reuters) – European aircraft builder Airbus aims to win a large plane order from AMR Corp’s American Airlines by offering $6 billion in preferential financing to woo the American carrier away from rival Boeing , according to the Wall Street Journal.
Airbus wants to break Boeing’s monopoly at American Airlines and has assembled a team of lenders and leasing firms to help the European company win the deal, people familiar with the proposal told the newspaper.
Airbus’s offer has a catalog value of almost $23 billion, but that is being heavily discounted, the people told the paper.
The European plane maker is offering American, a unit of AMR Corp , 130 of the current-generation A320s and 130 of the more fuel-efficient A320neo, the new engine option slated to enter service in 2015, the newspaper said.
American Airlines, which currently operates an all Boeing fleet, might make a decision about its airplane order as soon as next Wednesday, the people familiar with the matter said.
Meanwhile, Boeing is offering 737-800s and 737-900 Extended Range planes, people familiar with the matter said. However, the price and financing terms were unclear, the paper said.
Boeing is also racing to develop a product strategy for its best-selling 737 model to compete with redesigns of the A320.
“Boeing does not discuss our ongoing talks or sales campaigns with our airline customers,” Boeing spokesman Jim Condelles told Reuters.
Official at American Airlines and Airbus could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours. (Reporting by Sakthi Prasad; Editing by Matt Driskill)