While it’s not official yet, anything that JonNYC says is as good as fact, so I’d bank on it. Via TravelingBetter.com (which links to airliners.net):
We are moving forward with reconfiguring 18 Boeing 757 for use on international routes. The reconfiguration includes the installation of new seats, new cabin interiors and updated in-flight entertainment systems throughout the aircraft. The project is slated to begin later this year for completion by the end of 2009.
The 757 Business Class, in a 2-2 seating configuration, will feature 16 next-generation angled lie-flat seats with drop-down armrests, the ability to track forward 10 inches, interlocking tray tables that create one of the largest workspaces in the industry and in-seat entertainment system with audio and video on demand.
The economy cabin, comprised of 166 seats in a 3-3 configuration, will receive a lighter and brighter look including new seats and new sidewalls. In addition, new LCD monitors will replace CRT monitors to enhance in-flight entertainment video viewing and a digital media file server will provide better in-flight video and audio entertainment quality.
Once completed, the 757 international fleet will serve some new trans-Atlantic routes that are in the process of being finalized now. As with each refurbishment, we will keep you apprised of updates along the way and be on the lookout for the routes in Sabre.
First of all, that configuration sounds tight as hell! 182 people on an internationally configured 757 won’t be a very spacious ride all around, so I would avoid the 757’s whenever possible. Not only will it be tight seat-wise, but also in terms of storage/galley space. Serving a meal and a snack in two cabins will be a challenge given how limited the galley space is and how little room they’re leaving for such things as duty free, but I guess AA will learn from that pretty quickly.
That being said, this will enable AA to serve some smaller markets they may not have served before or possibly launch some new routes to existing destinations. So overall, thumbs up!