MIAMI — American Airlines on Thursday took delivery of their first Airbus A321, the latest aircraft in a broader fleet renewal program. The A321 is set to become the replacement for the Boeing 767-200 fleet, which is almost entirely dedicated to the premium routes between New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The new three-class interior is a major upgrade over the aging 767s, and will allow American to better compete with the ever growing competition on these highly coveted routes.
American will take delivery of five A321s before the year wraps up. The delivery flight will have the A321 fly from Hamburg to Bangor, Maine, and then on to Dallas/Fort Worth, where American’s maintenance team will get the new aircraft ready for service. Airchive will be on the inaugural flight from New York to Los Angeles, so stay tuned!
The full press release follows:
American to Be the Only Airline With Three-Class Product From Coast to Coast; New Aircraft to Offer Fully Lie-Flat Seats in First and Business Class
FORT WORTH, Texas – Continuing its fleet renewal momentum this year, American Airlines today took delivery of the first Airbus A321 Transcontinental aircraft, complete with fully lie-flat First and Business Class seats. The new aircraft is scheduled to enter service next year, making American the only U.S. carrier to offer customers more choices with a three-class configuration when flying between New York and Los Angeles, and New York and San Francisco.
The A321T will offer a comfortable flying experience from coast to coast with fully lie-flat seats in First and Business Class, with direct aisle access for all First Class customers for ease of moving about the cabin. The aircraft is equipped with Main Cabin Extra seating, giving Main Cabin customers the option of up to six inches of extra legroom, and every seat onboard features in-seat entertainment with up to 200 movies, up to 180 TV programs, more than 350 audio selections and up to 20 games. Individual AC power outlets and USB jacks are available at every seat throughout the aircraft. Customers will have an enhanced experience connecting with Gogo’s upgraded ATG-4 Wi-Fi service.
“As the only airline to offer a three-class transcontinental service, we’re delivering on what our customers flying between New York and the West Coast value,” said Virasb Vahidi, American’s Chief Commercial Officer. “With fully lie-flat seats in the premium cabins, new menu options, and enhanced amenities, the A321T aircraft allows us to provide our customers with amenities that, until now, have traditionally been reserved for those traveling internationally.”
American will begin operating the A321T between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in January. The aircraft will initially operate two of American’s daily flights between JFK and LAX and will operate all frequencies between the two airports in June, when American increases its frequencies to 13 daily flights. The A321T will also begin flying between JFK and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in March 2014 and will operate all frequencies between the two airports in June, when American increases its frequencies to five daily flights.
“The flexibility of the A320 Family cabin allows airlines creative freedom with their passenger amenities,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers. “American has clearly taken advantage of all this aircraft has to offer and customized its A321 to optimize operations and customers’ comfort.”
The new A321T incorporates the latest improvements to reduce fuel burn, marking another important advancement toward American’s efforts to build a more fuel-efficient fleet. On the road to building a younger and more modern fleet, American plans to take delivery of nearly 60 new aircraft total by the end of the year, including new Boeing 777-300ERs, Boeing 737-800s, Airbus A319s and Airbus A321Ts. The airline will continue its fleet renewal program in 2014 with more new aircraft deliveries, including the Boeing 787, which is scheduled to join American’s fleet late next year.
In addition, American’s current and future deliveries from the Airbus A320 Family, including the A321T, feature Airbus’ Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS). This onboard cockpit technology increases pilots’ situational awareness during landing, reduces exposure to runway excursion risk, and, if necessary, provides active protection.