Signaling the increasing importance of international routes, American Airlines on Wednesday ordered 42 new Boeing 787 jets, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2012. With a book value of about $8 billion, the order is a major boost to Boeing Co. and an important step for American in updating its aging fleet. The contract also includes the option to buy up to 58 additional planes between 2015 and 2020. Boeing said it is not yet treating the order as firm, however, because American's pilots must first agree to fly the plane. Despite contentious labor negotiations, initial reaction from the Allied Pilots Association was positive: "With American Airlines operating one of the oldest and least fuel-efficient fleets in the industry, this aircraft purchase is long overdue," the group said.

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