American is in the process of refreshing their longhaul fleet. This includes both reconfiguring their current fleet (installing new seats on their 757-200s, 767-300s, and 777-200s), as well as taking delivery of new aircraft. So far American has taken delivery of 16 777-300ERs, with four more to come.
The next part of American’s fleet renewal plan is to begin taking delivery of some 787s, which American has 42 of on firm order. Originally American was supposed to begin taking delivery of these by November 2014, though obviously that has been delayed.
Per the Dallas Morning News, it looks like American won’t be taking delivery of their first 787 until the first quarter of next year:
“We are now preparing to welcome the first one in the first quarter of next year,” AA spokesman Matt Miller said Tuesday.
Apparently there are a couple of things holding up the delivery of the new aircraft, including the new business class seats:
We had heard back in mid-2014 that the final design and production of seating, particularly the lie-flat seats in the premium cabin, might hold up the first delivery.
Miller said the seats were part of the delay, but only part.
As for the seats, “it’s a new seat, a new concept that we’ve created for this particular aircraft,” he said. It took time for “the production of seats themselves and the shells is one element, and then having them installed and the certificiation that comes with it.”
Is American really going with a new business class product altogether… again? Even among their new products, they have different business class seats on the 767-300, 777-200, and 777-300. And that doesn’t even account for US Airways’ business class product, or the fact that they’ll likely also have a different new business class product on the 757-200. Introducing yet another style of business class seat just seems impractical.
Regardless, I’m really excited about American taking delivery of the 787. I’m hoping this causes them to be a bit more bold with new routes, and maybe try some routes they wouldn’t have otherwise considered. Between lower fuel prices and a super efficient aircraft, that’s my hope, at least. Hello India, South Africa, and more destinations in the Middle East… maybe?
What route would you like to see American launch with the 787?
(Tip of the hat to Drew)