American Airlines Retrofits Its 100th Widebody Aircraft With Premium Economy

Dec 5, 2018

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While international airlines have offered premium economy service for years, American Airlines was the first US-based airline to introduce a true Premium Economy product in May 2017. Now, the world’s largest airline has surpassed 100 internationally configured aircraft with a Premium Economy cabin.

Aircraft Type Retrofit
In process Left to retrofit
A330-200 15
B787-9* 20
B777-200 45 2
B777-300ER 20
B787-8 1 19
Total 101 2 19

The final two Boeing 777-200 left to be retrofit (aircraft registrations N759AN and N795AN) entered the shop at the end of November. With these out of service, all 777-200s operating going forward will have the following configuration:

  • 37 Business (1-2-1 arrangement)
  • 24 Premium Economy (2-4-2)
  • 66 Main Cabin Extra (3-4-3)
  • 146 Economy (3-4-3)

Coincidentally, the last AA 777 entered the shop on the same day that United finally unveiled the details of its “Premium Plus” premium economy service, which is set to launch at the end of March 2019. Delta launched its “Premium Select” premium economy product on its Airbus A350 in October 2017 and has started to retrofit the product on its Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

Once these retrofits are complete, this will leave just 19 Boeing 787-8 aircraft left to reconfigure. According to an American Airlines spokesperson, these retrofits will “start early next year” with the “plan to have all of the premium economy retrofits completed mid-2019.” This is a bit behind the original schedule to complete the premium economy retrofit process by June 2018:

American Airlines Premium Economy retrofit schedule as of the Merrill Lynch’s 2017 Transportation Conference in May 2017.

Once the 777-200s and 787-8s are finished, 122 of AA’s fleet of 155 widebody aircraft will have a Premium Economy product. The other 33 aircraft won’t be retrofit with Premium Economy:

For more on American Airlines Premium Economy, check out:

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