American Airlines is buying the 787-9 jets as part of a move to improve the fuel efficiency of its fleet. The order has an estimated price of about $5.3 billion.

Share story

DALLAS — American Airlines says it will buy 42 Boeing 787-9 jets as part of a move to improve the fuel efficiency of its fleet.

The order announced today has a total list price of about $8.2 billion; the estimated actual price, based on data from aircraft valuation firm Avitas, is about $5.3 billion.

American said it expects to get the planes delivered from 2012 through 2018.

The airline says it has rights to buy up to 58 more of the planes later on.

American is the nation’s largest airline, and about half its fleet is composed of fuel-guzzling MD-80 series jets. That became a big disadvantage when jet fuel spiked over $4 a gallon this summer.

The carrier’s parent, AMR, today reported a third-quarter profit of $45 million, down from $175 million in the year-ago period.

But without a one-time gain from the sale of an investment subsidiary and other items — as analysts view companies — AMR would have lost $360 million, or $1.39 a share.

Analysts expected the company to lose $1.40 a share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue rose to $6.42 billion from $5.95 billion a year ago. Analysts expected $6.34 billion for the quarter that ended Sept. 30.

AMR stock was up 44 cents at $9.23 at midday in New York. Boeing stock was down 66 cents at $44.41.