American Enhances Existing 737-800 Fleet
Updates to 76 Aircraft to Include New Cabin Interiors, Improved Inflight Entertainment Systems and Additional Storage
Updated 737s Will Match Customer Amenities on 84 New 737-800s that American is Adding to its Fleet by 2011
Press Release Source: American Airlines On Tuesday June 29, 2010, 10:00 am EDT
FORT WORTH, Texas, June 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall
American Airlines today announced that the second of its original 76 Boeing 737-800s – which are being updated to match the customer benefits and amenities featured on its newly-delivered 737-800 aircraft – begins flying with a range of new features to improve the travel experience. Once the updates are completed, American's initial fleet of 76 737-800s will match the 84 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft that American began receiving in March 2009 and will continue to receive through 2011.
The new 737-800s are being delivered to American with several enhancements, all of which will be added to the initial 76 737-800 fleet. These include new, more comfortable and spacious First and Economy Class seats, bigger overhead storage bins, updated inflight entertainment systems, and AC power ports. In addition, the new configuration of the 737-800s allows for 12 additional Economy Class seats, for a total of 160 seats.
A prototype of the updated aircraft has been in service since February. American will continue to upgrade the remaining 74 aircraft in its original fleet by installing new seats, new cabin interiors, enhanced inflight entertainment systems, and more storage throughout the aircraft. By accelerating its 737-800 fleet renewal plan last year, American took a significant step in its efforts to invest in products and services that benefit customers, while enhancing its competitive position with new aircraft that are 35 percent more fuel efficient on a seat mile basis than the MD-80 airplanes they will replace. American took delivery of 31 new 737-800s in 2009 and will take delivery of 45 this year and 8 in 2011.
"American remains focused on our long-term future, so it is vital that we continue to reinvest in our products and services to enhance the travel experience for our loyal customers," said Lauri Curtis, American's Vice President – Onboard Service. "Upgrading our existing fleet of 737s to match the new deliveries will benefit our customers, employees, shareholders and the communities we serve. These efforts will also keep our product competitive while offering cost, environmental and operational benefits."
Upon completion, the updated 737s will feature new First Class seats designed specifically for American by Weber Aircraft. The seats have a "slim-line" seatback design and innovative seat bottom that create enhanced space and increase customer comfort. The Economy Class cabin will feature 144 newly-designed seats that utilize a higher recline pivot to provide increased knee room. Throughout the cabin, drop-down LCD monitors will replace CRT monitors and a digital media file server will provide better-quality video and audio entertainment. A 110 volt AC power port will be located at every First Class seat, and two power ports will be located per every three Economy Class seats for easy accessibility.
In addition, bigger overhead storage bins will significantly increase customer cabin luggage capacity by allowing rolling bags to be loaded wheels first. Over time, American intends to equip all of its 737s with Gogo® Inflight Internet service, which will allow passengers to surf the Web, check email and send instant messages conveniently from the air.
The update effort began in May and the retrofitting is being done by American's mechanics at its maintenance base in Tulsa, Okla.
"Projects like this 737 retrofit are unique, rewarding and are appreciated by our engineering and maintenance teams, because we know that our work is going to directly improve the onboard experience of our customers," said Bill Cavitt, Vice President – Engineering, Performance Improvement Strategies and Quality Assurance.
To view footage of the 737 retrofit being done by American's mechanics in Tulsa, please visit: http://www.boeing.com/Features/2010/06/bca_american_airlines_06_28_10.html.