DALLAS TheStreet) -- American (AMR) is expected to be the only major airline to report a second-quarter loss, but it is not behaving like an airline in trouble.

Rather, the world's third-largest carrier is close to announcing a major aircraft order, possibly an order for Airbus jets that will shatter a 15-year-old exclusivity arrangement with Boeing ( BA - Get Report).

That would be a major coup for Airbus, worth making substantial financial concessions. The order would have a book value around $20 billion for 200 single-aisle A320 family airplanes and would replace aging MD-80s and Boeing 757s in American's fleet.

The Wall Street Journal, quoting sources, reported that American "is leaning toward choosing Airbus jetliners over models from rival Boeing to modernize its fleet of short-haul airplanes."

The newspaper also reported that American and Airbus reached a "preliminary deal" in June for more than 200 Airbus A320 jets, after which American asked Boeing for a counter offer.

Boeing does not currently offer a narrow-body aircraft as fuel efficient as the planned A320neo, which could start to be delivered in 2015.

Bloomberg, quoting sources, has reported that American may split its order between Airbus and Boeing.

American will report second-quarter earnings Wednesday morning, the first major carrier to report. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters estimate a loss of 75 cents.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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