American Airlines Retrofits Its 100th Widebody Aircraft With Premium Economy
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.
|In process||Left to retrofit|
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:
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:
- 9x Airbus A330-300 -- despite AA's plans to keep these widebody aircraft in its fleet through at least the end of 2020
- 24x Boeing 767-300s. The airline plans to retire six of these in 2019 and 13 in 2020.
For more on American Airlines Premium Economy, check out:
- Worth the Extra Money: American Airlines (777-200) in Premium Economy From London to Miami
- Seat Review: American Airlines (777-200) Premium Economy From Dallas to Miami
- Seat Review: American Airlines (787-9) Premium Economy From Dallas to Los Angeles
- American Airlines’ 777-300ER Aircraft Nearly Complete With Premium Economy Refit
- Five Things We’ve Learned About AA’s Premium Economy