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Airlines go on a record new jet shopping spree

At an American Airlines  facility in Grapevine, Texas, the interior of a new aircraft was on display. Airlines worldwide have been purchasing new planes, in part to save on fuel costs.
At an American Airlines facility in Grapevine, Texas, the interior of a new aircraft was on display. Airlines worldwide have been purchasing new planes, in part to save on fuel costs. LM Otero/Associated Press

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Airlines are on the largest jet-buying spree in the history of aviation, ordering more than 8,200 new planes with manufacturers Airbus and Boeing in the past five years. There are now a combined 24 planes rolling off assembly lines each week, up from 11 a decade ago. And that rate is expected to keep climbing.

The new planes allow the airlines to save on fuel, now their biggest cost, while offering passengers more amenities . Passengers can plug in to work or be entertained by a seat-back TV and fly some international routes nonstop for the first time. And the commercial divisions of Boeing and Airbus get a steady stream of cash for years, which is a key reason investors have doubled the companies’ stock price in the past year.

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