(AP) -- To keep one of its biggest customers, Boeing has promised American Airlines that it will build a 737 with a new, more efficient engine.
Boeing commercial airplane head Jim Albaugh says "it became very clear" that their customers want a more efficient plane now. Boeing had been considering building an all-new plane.
American Airlines said it will order 460 new planes, including 260 from Boeing rival Airbus. The order is split between current-generation Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s.While Airbus calls its new-engine version the A320neo, for "new engine option," Boeing doesn't have a name yet for its new-engine 737.
Avitas aerospace expert Adam Pilarski says Boeing needed to put the new engine on the 737 to defend itself from Airbus as well as new competitors in China and Russia.