An American Airlines jet lands on May 28, 2009 at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport in Minnesota. (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – American Airlines is expected to announce Wednesday a major order of new planes that could put pressure on other airlines to upgrade their fleets.

The Fort Worth-based airline is also expected to announce a first-quarter 2011 loss of around $250 Million.

American, whose fleet of more than 600 planes averages about 15 years in age, is weighing competing bids from its longtime supplier, Boeing Co., and from Europe’s Airbus.

KRLD’s Austin York reports:

Airline Analyst Denny Kelly says American is hoping that by dealing with Airbus it will force Boeing to make more fuel efficient planes. The deal could be a possible $20 Billion purchase.

Kelly says American is making the purchase to save money on fuel.  The move will also give the airline a lucrative tax break.

Kelly says the timing of the purchase is odd, coming while the airline hasn’t signed a contract with their pilots, mechanics or flight attendants.

The board of American parent AMR Corp. was meeting Tuesday night, and last-minute negotiations could still affect American’s decision.

The airline could order up to 400 planes. AMR President Tom Horton is scheduled to appear on the CBS Early Show Wednesday morning.