NEW YORK (AP) — Boeing says it’s planning to redesign the engine of its workhorse 737 airplane in an effort to quickly match growing competition from rival plane maker Airbus.
The Chicago manufacturer said Tuesday it has received commitments for 496 airplanes with the new engines from five airlines.
The redesign was spurred by an announcement by American Airlines that it would order at least 460 new jets, split between Boeing and Airbus. The deal ended Boeing’s exclusive grip on the fleet of one of the largest U.S. airlines.
Boeing Co. had been weighing whether to bolt a new, more-efficient engine onto its 737, or build an all-new plane.
Boeing says the new “re-engined” 737 will have lower operating costs than any similar airplane.
Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017.
Boeing shares rose 49 cents to $65.09 a share in morning trading.