American Airlines is deferring the delivery of 24 widebody aircraft, including its first Airbus A350 that had been scheduled for delivery next year, reducing capital expenditures by more than $1 billion in the 2018-2020 period.

American and Airbus have reached an agreement under which the delivery of the Dallas/Fort Worth-based carrier’s first A350-900 will be pushed back to late 2020 from 2018, and all 22 A350-900s American has on order will be delivered on a deferred schedule. The 22 A350s will now be delivered from late 2020 to 2024 “with an average deferral of two years” per aircraft, American said.

This is the second time in less than a year that American has deferred the delivery of the 22 A350-900s, which were originally ordered by US Airways in 2007. American and US Airways merged in December 2013. In July 2016, American reached an agreement with Airbus to defer its first A350-900 delivery from the spring of 2017 to late 2018. At that time, it pushed back the rest of the deliveries by 26 months on average, meaning that the new deferral pushes back those deliveries by 50 months on average from the original schedule.

American has additionally reached an agreement with Boeing to defer the delivery of two 787-9s from the 2018 second quarter to the 2019 first quarter.

American said the deferrals give it “widebody capacity flexibility.” The delivery schedule changes will reduce the airline’s planned capital expenditures by $500 million in 2018 and by $300 million in both 2019 and 2020.

Aaron Karp aaron.karp@penton.com