MIAMI — American Airlines (AA) took delivery of its first 787-9 Dreamliner, a stretched version of the long-range 787-8 that the Dallas/Ft. Worth-based carrier has been flying since last year.
The jetliner (N820AL • MSN 40639 • LN 466) flew from Boeing’s delivery center facility in Charleston, South Carolina, to Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) on Tuesday evening. According to the airline, its maintenance team at DFW will prepare the aircraft for its entry into service at its base known as DWH Hangar 5.
A validation flight for the aircraft’s extended long-range certification will take place on October 4 to London Heathrow (LHR).
American Airlines expects to take delivery of a second 787-9 in early October, with domestic passenger service starting on October 6 with flights from DFW to Los Angeles (LAX). International service starts on November 3 from DFW to São Paulo (GRU).
AA is scheduled to have four 787-9s by the end of the year.
As seen in the first pictures from the actual aircraft below, additionally to Business Class and Main Cabin, AA’s 787-9s will have a new Premium Economy cabin —the first dedicated international premium economy product ever offered by an U.S. carrier,—and which will also be available on American Airlines’ widebody fleet, including all of its Boeing 777s and 787s, Airbus A330-200s, and A350-900s.
The Boeing 767-300ERs and Airbus A330-300s will not be retrofitted with Premium Economy as those aircraft are scheduled for retirement in the coming years.
The new Premium Economy product will offer more legroom (38 inches of pitch) and wider seats. In the 787-9 there will be 21 Premium Economy seats in a 2+3+2 configuration. The seat, built by B/E Aerospace, will offer extendable foot, leg and headrests, as well as individual AC power outlets and USB ports.
The Premium Economy product will also offer Panasonic’s personal IFE entertainment suites and Wi-Fi connectivity, with complimentary live television channels, movies and games. Passengers will also receive noise reducing headphones and amenity kits, and will enjoy enhanced meal service with complimentary wine, beer and spirits. Premium Economy passengers will also be able to check one bag free of charge.
The Premium Economy product will be offered for the cost of Main Cabin Extra until early 2017, when it will go on sale.