Despite their bankruptcy, American will apparently be taking delivery of 10 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in 2012 and 2013, which they’ll launch on their London routes. New planes at a US airline are exciting news, though what’s especially exciting is what they plan on doing with them, as announced today.
The most exciting news is that they’re introducing a new first class product, and also a fully flat business class product with direct aisle access at every seat, as opposed to their current product which is angled flat. I assume American’s new business class product will either be similar to Delta’s product on their 767-400 aircraft, or otherwise US Airways’ new Envoy product, both of which are great. Then again, it makes me wonder why they bother offering first class, given that the difference between business and first class will be minimal. I wouldn’t be surprised if they still make the decision to eliminate first class on the 777-300ER aircraft they’re taking delivery of, as that seems to be the trend in the industry.
The other interesting news is that they’ll apparently have wifi capabilities, which will also be a first for a US airline on longhaul international flights.
Lastly, they’ll also be introducing a premium economy product. It will be interesting to see whether it’s like Delta and United where it just offers a few extra inches of pitch (that’s my guess), or if they’ll go with a premium economy product similar to those offered by other foreign carriers, which would be more like domestic first class seats.
So this is exciting news, though leaves us with more questions than answers. The other thing I’m wondering is whether they plan on reconfiguring their current international fleet with the new first and business class product, and if so, at what point.