AMR Fleet Renewal Backgrounder
American is evolving into a more modern airline. American remains focused on the renewal of our fleet.
On May 9, American announced that the airline will invest to redesign and refresh the company’s international widebody aircraft – a demonstration of the forward movement of the company’s business plan.
Our widebody enhancements are the latest in a series of investments we have made to renew our fleet. American is working to replace and transform our fleet in about five years into the youngest fleet among the major U.S. carriers.
Recent fleet renewal initiatives include:
- Orders for 10 Boeing 777-300ERs that are anticipated for delivery in 2012 through 2013
- We expect to begin taking delivery of 42 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft at the end of 2014
- Received 76 passenger-friendly, fuel-efficient Boeing 737-800 aircraft designed to replace the MD-80 fleet and retrofitting our existing fleet of 76 Boeing 737-800s to match those new deliveries
- American began taking delivery of Boeing 737s with the Boeing Sky Interior in May 2011 and will continue taking delivery of 737s through 2017 for a total of 154 aircraft
- Retrofitting 51 of American’s domestic Boeing 757s and completing a retrofit to the international fleet of 20 Boeing 757s that is expected to finish before this summer
- In 2013, we expect to begin taking delivery of 130 current-generation Airbus 319 and Airbus 321 aircraft
- We expect to begin taking delivery of 130 Airbus “Neo” next-generation engine technology in 2017
Here’s a closer look at the initiatives American has undertaken to enhance its fleet:
737-800 with Boeing Sky Interior (BSI): American continued the execution of its fleet modernization plan by taking delivery in May 2011 of its first Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s with the Boeing Sky Interior (BSI) – a brand new interior that includes a modern, roomier cabin and innovative LED lighting feature. American began taking delivery of Boeing 737s with the Boeing Sky Interior in May 2011 and will continue taking delivery of 737s through 2017 for a total of 154 aircraft.
American’s fleet of 737s serves North America, the Caribbean and select shorter to medium-haul Central American and South American routes.
The new 737-800 BSI interior offers several unique features, including larger overhead bins – modeled after the 787-9 Dreamliner’s pivoting bins – that pivot down and out. The innovative design allows the bins to hold 48 more bags than standard overhead bins and four more than current non-BSI aircraft with larger bins. Sculpted sidewalls provide customers with a feeling of spaciousness and updated window reveals make the windows appear larger. Brighter and longer-lasting LED lighting can be programmed to create different effects during the flight such as soft blue sky overhead. Cove lighting provides a welcoming feel for customers as they board the aircraft. Intuitive placement of switches and call buttons and speakers above every row of seats to improve sound quality are additional features that enhance the customer experience.
737-800 (without BSI): In March 2009, American took a significant step in the execution of its fleet renewal plan by taking delivery of new, cost-effective Boeing 737-800 aircraft without BSI. To date, American has taken delivery of 76 Boeing 737-800s without BSI.
American is currently enhancing its existing fleet of 76 737-800s to match the 737-800s new deliveries without BSI. The retrofit includes the installation of new seats, new cabin interiors, updated inflight entertainment systems and more storage throughout the aircraft. As of May 2012, American has completed the retrofit on 39 aircraft and plans to complete the additional 37 737-800s by the end of 2013.
- First Class Upgrades: The 737-800 First Class cabin features 16 new seats – designed specifically for American by Weber Aircraft. The slim line seatback design and innovative articulation creates improved personal space and customer comfort.
- Main Cabin Upgrades: The Main Cabin has 144 new seats designed specifically for American by Weber Aircraft. Design features of the new seat provide more knee room and greater customer comfort.
- Entertainment Upgrades: Throughout the cabin, 20 new drop-down LCD monitors replace the centerline CRT monitors in the existing 737 aircraft to enhance the inflight entertainment experience. A digital media file server provides better video and audio entertainment quality.
- Streaming Video Content: American is the first North American airline to offer streaming video as a new, creative customer offering – giving customers access to an inflight library of movies and TV shows that they can stream directly to their Wi-Fi-enabled laptops and tablets.
- Wi-Fi: American was the first airline to launch inflight Wi-Fi Internet service in North America, and will expand the inflight Wi-Fi product offering to nearly all of its aircraft dedicated to flying within the continental United States. As of May 2012, American has 93 737s, 15 767-200s and 185 MD80s installed with Wi-Fi. The airline plans to have 400 aircraft installed with Wi-Fi by the end of 2012.
American expects to have a total of 195 737-800s in its narrowbody fleet by the end of 2012. These aircraft will eventually replace American’s fleet of narrowbody MD-80s and are 35 percent more fuel efficient on a seat-mile basis. American retired 22 MD-80s in 2011, as part of the company’s plan to continue renewing its fleet, while addressing the current fuel environment.
787-9 Dreamliners: In 2008 American entered into a purchase agreement with Boeing to acquire an initial 42 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft offers many benefits, including:
- Improved aerodynamics
- Advances in engine technology
- Reduced maintenance requirements
- Lower operating costs
777-300ERs: American is the first North American carrier to order 777-300ERs. The airline announced orders for 10 aircraft and deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2012. These 777-300ERs will complement American’s fleet, offering additional network flexibility in the future, and providing increased efficiency due to better seat mile economics and performance characteristics.
American announced Sao Paulo and London Heathrow as the first markets for the 777-300ERs with flights scheduled to begin in December.
757-200 Domestic: The airline is currently upgrading 51 Boeing 757-200 aircraft for use on domestic routes. Enhancements to the domestic fleet include the installation of new seats, new cabin interiors and updated inflight entertainment throughout the aircraft. Also, First Class will receive two additional seats, which increases the number of First Class seats from 22 to 24 on each aircraft.
The 757-200 aircraft enhancements began in August 2010 and are planned to be completed by December 2015. As of early May 2012, American has completed upgrades to ten 757-200s for domestic use. American’s fleet of Boeing 757-200 domestic aircraft serves North America, Hawaii, and the Caribbean, and selected shorter to medium-haul Central and South American routes.
757-200 International: In December 2009, American completed the reconfiguration of 18 Boeing 757-200s for use on international routes. This included the installation of new seats, new cabin interiors and updated inflight entertainment systems throughout the aircraft. American plans to complete the retrofit on two additional aircraft by the end of May 2012.
American’s fleet of 18 Boeing 757-200 international aircraft primarily provides long-haul service to cities in Europe, and on selected routes in the United States and to the Caribbean.
777-200ERs / 767-300ERs: On May 9, American Airlines announced the company will invest to redesign and refresh the company’s international widebody aircraft – a demonstration of the forward movement of the company’s business plan.
Over time American plans to modernize our international widebody fleet by equipping the aircraft with fully lieflat Business Class seats with aisle access for each seat; international Wi-Fi; in-seat entertainment; as well as
Main Cabin Extra seating which provides more legroom.
American intends to retrofit up to half of its existing 767-300ER aircraft. Those that are redesigned will operate the new configuration with fully lie-flat Business Class Seats and all-aisle access. The remaining 767-300ERs that are not redesigned will be retired over time.
American intends to retrofit its entire fleet of Boeing 777-200ERs to include fully lie-flat Business Class seats, each with aisle access; new seats in the Main Cabin; in-seat entertainment; and international Wi-Fi capability. American will also install Main Cabin Extra seats onboard its fleet of 777-200ERs.
On the 777-200s, new fully lie-flat Business Class seats will afford travelers among the largest living space of any 777 Business Class seat offered by any U.S. carrier. The new seat will lead the industry giving travelers up to two times more living space than American’s current 777-200ER Business Class seat. The seats are arranged in individual suites and the design was specially created by American’s Cabin Design team.
American’s 777-200ERs will be retrofitted to offer two classes of service which will align American with its competitors, many of whom offer a two-class configuration today. To better match capacity and demand, American will redeploy the two-class cabin configured 777-200ERs to mid to long-haul routes. The three-class 777-300ERs will be utilized in markets with a greater customer demand for a First Class product.
The new IFE onboard the 777-200ER will give customers an enormous selection of entertainment inflight with over 700 hours of on-demand audio/video entertainment available. This is an increase of over 200 percent compared to the amount of content offered in today’s 777-200ER premium cabins and over nine times more than the amount of content offered in today’s 777-200ER in the Main Cabin.
MD-80 Retirement: American Airlines took delivery of its first McDonnell Douglas MD-80 (Super 80) in 1983. The workhorse of American’s fleet, the MD-80 has been used to fly primarily domestic routes. American retired 22 MD-80s in 2011, as part of the company’s plan to continue renewing its fleet, while addressing the current fuel environment.
Enhancing Connectivity Onboard:
On Aug. 3, American Airlines launched the initial phase of entertainment on demand – an inflight streaming video product – as a brand-new, innovative inflight entertainment option for customers onboard its entire fleet of 15 Boeing 767-200 aircraft.
American is the first North American airline to offer inflight streaming video, which enables customers to wirelessly stream content such as movies and TV shows from an inflight library to select types of Wi-Fi enabled laptops and tablets during flight.
Wi-Fi Expansion: American was the first airline to launch inflight Wi-Fi Internet service in North America, and will expand the inflight Wi-Fi product offering to nearly all of its aircraft dedicated to flying within the continental United States.
American Eagle CRJ-700s: Last year, American Eagle took delivery of 22 Bombardier CRJ-700 aircraft. The new Bombardier airplanes feature nine First Class seats in a 2-1 configuration to match the First Class cabin on Eagle’s existing fleet. The main cabin features 56 redesigned ultra-slim Economy Class seats.
In 2010 American Eagle added a First Class cabin to its existing fleet of 25 Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jets. The aircraft was converted by American Eagle mechanics in Abilene, Texas, to include the new First Class and
main cabin design.
The newly-refurbished planes feature nine First Class seats in a 2-1 configuration. The new First Class seats will offer four-way adjustable headrests, ergonomically contoured back and seat cushions and an articulated seat bottom, which allow customers to recline with less impact to the legroom of the passengers seated behind them. As an additional in-flight experience enhancement, First Class customers are offered a complimentary dining service if their flight is longer than two hours and occurs during a meal time.
The enhancements to American’s existing fleet, and investments in fleet renewal, with the forthcoming 737-800, 777-300ER and 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, are examples of how American continues to take concrete steps in an effort to manage through the industry’s challenges and position the company for long-term success.