American Airlines says plans to take 737 MAX orders though unsure when

CHICAGO (Reuters) – American Airlines (AAL.O) is in “good discussions” with Boeing Co (BA.N) to finalize financing on 17 737 MAX jets that were to be delivered this year, an executive said on Thursday, adding that the airline still wants its full order of 100 jets over time.

“We totally plan on taking those aircraft,” American Chief Financial Officer Derek Kerr said on a conference call. “Just when we take them is the discussion that we’re having. But good discussions (…) We’ll be done pretty soon, I think.”

American, which posted a steep quarterly loss as it weathers the dramatic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation industry, has said it will not take delivery of any aircraft that are not financed.

Previous financing for 17 MAX orders expired as the jets remain grounded after two fatal crashes, forcing Boeing to scramble to arrange new financing as it awaits regulatory approval for design changes.

Some of the orders from American, which was the launch customer of the MAX, were under threat as it sought the same pre-pandemic terms, people familiar with the matter said.

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