American Airlines announces first routes for Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Courtesy: American Airlines.

Courtesy: American Airlines.

American Airlines customers will enjoy an additional level of service on the biggest network in the world when American offers inaugural service with Premium Economy seating on its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

The 787-9 will make its debut international flight between Dallas Forth Worth and Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) on November 4. The aircraft will also operate between DFW and São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) beginning November 4. Customers can start booking 787-9 flights beginning July 10.

Aircraft Configuration
The 787-9 features:

  • 30 fully lie-flat, all-aisle access Business Class seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration
  • 21 Premium Economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration
  • 27 Main Cabin Extra seats with up to 6 inches of additional leg room in a 3-3-3 configuration
  • 207 Main Cabin seats arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration

Every seat offers a personal seatback entertainment system with touchscreen, power and USB ports. Wi-Fi provides global coverage for internet access and complimentary live television channels, nearly 300 movies including 48 new releases, TV shows and games. Business Class customers will also be offered Bose® QuietComfort® Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones. Additional advanced features on the Dreamliner include larger dimmable windows, improved cabin humidity and enhanced sound quality.

Premium Economy Experience
Customers sitting in Premium Economy will enjoy a leather seat featuring 38 inches of pitch with extendable foot, leg and head rests, personal on-demand entertainment systems and larger touchscreen monitors. When flying international, customers will receive noise reducing headphones and amenity kits, and will enjoy enhanced meal service with complimentary wine, beer and spirits. Premium Economy customers will be able to check one bag free of charge.

“As the first U.S. airline to introduce Premium Economy seating on international flights, we continue to innovate new ways to meet our customers’ expectations with the products and service they value,” said Andrew Nocella, American’s chief marketing officer. “The 787-9 is going to be a fantastic addition to our widebody fleet, with international Wi-Fi and an inflight experience that’s second to none. Our existing widebodies will offer Premium Economy as we retrofit our cabins and continue to elevate the entire travel experience with our $3 billion investment.”

The new International Premium Economy service will launch in November and will be available to select customers before it goes on sale in early 2017.

For more information, please visit aa.com/premiumeconomy, and for an interactive look at the new premium economy product, please visit explorethenewamerican.com/premiumeconomy.

Customer Experience Investment
These improvements are the latest in a long-term investment American is making in the customer experience. This year, American is raising the bar even higher and providing more choices for global travelers.

The airline is investing more than $3 billion in every aspect of the customer travel experience – whether that’s in the airports or in the cabins of the most modern fleet in the industry. The improvements include a refresh of Admirals Club lounges worldwide, a new Flagship Lounge experience in six gateways, an upgraded assortment of complimentary healthy food, adding more all-aisle access, fully lie-flat seats, power outlets, improved food and beverage offerings and more. American is going for great.

Source: American Airlines.

Lufthansa launches internet connectivity on short- and medium-haul flights

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

In October of this year, the first Lufthansa short- and medium-haul aircraft will take off with broadband internet on board. Lufthansa’s entire A320 family fleet is expected to have the innovative technology installed by mid-2018. One key milestone has already been reached: Lufthansa Technik is the first MRO company in Europe to have received the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from EASA to install a Ka-band antenna on the A320 family, i.e. the A319, A320, and A321 models. The STC serves to verify that the modifications to the aircraft (hardware or software) conform to the design specifications stipulated by EASA. Said specifications ensure aircraft’s continued airworthiness.

The first aircraft was equipped with the technology in June. In the coming weeks, the onboard system will be tested for functionality and stability. Lufthansa passengers will likely be able to use the new internet service from October. Other airlines in the Lufthansa Group will follow at a later date.

The future service from Lufthansa and its technology partner Inmarsat is based on the latest broadband satellite technology (Ka-band) and offers seamless, reliable coverage on short- and medium-haul flights through Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network. Passengers will be able to access the internet using their own mobile devices via Wi-Fi. In addition to basic surfing and email, other more sophisticated applications will be possible, including video streaming. At a later date passengers will be able to use their cellphones for SMS and data transfer via their own mobile accounts.

With its many years of experience in the aircraft modification sector, Lufthansa Technik is responsible for installing all systems and components as well as for the works required to comply with aeronautical and statutory regulations. In Europe, this was the first successful installation involving the GX communications network and the Honeywell-designed Ka-band antenna. To install the system, electrical and structural modifications were required both inside and outside the aircraft cabin. All modifications were developed and approved by Lufthansa Technik’s licensed development unit. The installed components were integrated in the cabin infrastructure in such a way that they are virtually invisible for passengers and easy to operate by the cabin crew. The work can be completed in up to four days or during regular maintenance layovers.

Lufthansa Systems provides the required IT infrastructure onboard the aircraft. This includes network operations as well as the innovative FlyNet portal for passengers.

Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik have also established a long-term partnership with global satellite operator Inmarsat in order to offer a modern, multifunctional onboard IT platform with broadband internet access to the market. Both the Lufthansa Group as well as airlines around the world will benefit from this strong partnership through comprehensive services.

Lufthansa carried out the world’s first scheduled flight with broadband internet access on January 15, 2003. Despite its growing popularity among passengers, the technically reliable service had to be discontinued in 2006 because the Connexion by Boeing satellites ceased commercial operations. Since December 2010 Lufthansa has once again been the first airline to provide broadband internet access on intercontinental flights. Since June 2015 FlyNet has been available on all 107 long-haul aircraft in the Lufthansa fleet. Lufthansa operates the world’s largest internet-connected long-haul fleet.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

American Airlines receives its first U.S.-produced Airbus aircraft

Courtesy: Airbus.

Courtesy: Airbus.

The first delivery of an A321 aircraft from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility to American Airlines took place yesterday, May 17, in Mobile, Alabama. On hand for the occasion were executives from Airbus and American Airlines and representatives of the more than 350 employees at the facility.

Bob Lekites, Executive Vice President-Customers, Airbus Americas said, “The relationship between American Airlines and Airbus is a long and successful collaboration to provide the most modern, fuel-efficient aircraft for both of our customers. American Airlines already operates the world’s largest fleet of Airbus aircraft and the largest A321 fleet. With this delivery, we are adding a very special aircraft to those already sporting the American livery – an Airbus aircraft built here in the USA. This is the first of many American Airlines airplanes to be delivered from Mobile, and we are proud it will join a growing, thriving fleet.”

David Seymour, Senior Vice President-Integrated Operations for American Airlines said, “Having Airbus produce its world-class aircraft in the United States has simplified our delivery process. It’s an honor to take delivery of this A321 yesterday, and we thank everyone working in this facility for producing a high-quality aircraft for us.”

Airbus announced its commitment to build a single-aisle assembly line in Mobile, Alabama in 2012, and less than one year later, broke ground on the $600 million facility. The ceremonial inauguration of the plant took place in September 2015. The aircraft delivered yesterday, an American Airlines A321, successfully had its first flight on April 19, 2016.

Airbus anticipates delivering four aircraft per month from the Mobile plant by the end of 2017. The initial deliveries will all be A320 Family aircraft with the Current Engine Option (CEO), but will begin transitioning to New Engine Option (NEO) derivatives in late 2017.

In addition to hundreds of new Airbus jobs the project has brought to the local community, the Mobile area has seen many Airbus suppliers open new facilities in the region, providing even more employment and a parallel boost to the local economy. Airbus is proud to boast that 87 percent of its new employees are from the Gulf Coast region, with nearly one third being U.S. military veterans.

Demonstrating the adage “The Sun Never Sets on Airbus Manufacturing” – Airbus aircraft are now produced around the clock, 24 hours a day, at facilities in: Mobile, Alabama; Hamburg, Germany; Toulouse, France; and Tianjin, China.

Source: Airbus.

First Airbus A321 aircraft produced in the U.S. for American Airlines takes flight

Courtesy: Airbus.

Courtesy: Airbus.

On April 19, the A321 took off from the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley in Mobile, Alabama, at 1:32 p.m. CDT, performed its test sequences, and landed safely at approximately 5:10 p.m. CDT.

The aircraft was flown by Test Pilots Mark McCullins and Bruce Macdonald. They were accompanied on the flight by Flight Test Engineer Nick Picconi, and Ground Test Engineer/Cabin Specialists Alexander Gentzsch and  Mike Johns.

The flight lasted approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes during which tests were performed on systems, engines and structure performance.

Following the flight, the aircraft will go through a few more weeks in final production before being delivered to American Airlines.

Source: Airbus.

American Airlines celebrates its 90th anniversary

Courtesy: American Airlines.

Courtesy: American Airlines.

American Airlines celebrates today its 90th anniversary, the company is one of the leader airlines of commercial aviation, connecting businesses, cultures, and the most important, families around the globe. It has been 90 years since Charles A. Lindbergh – the chief pilot of Robertson Aircraft Corporation – on the morning of April 15th, 1926 stowed a bag of mail in his DH-4 biplane and took off from Chicago to St. Louis. Nine decades later, Robertson is counted as one of the many airlines that would eventually make up what is now the world’s largest carrier – American Airlines.

Customers on American Airlines flight 90 from Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow enjoyed a special send off celebration. The cockpit crew displayed a flag with the original American Airlines logo out the aircraft window on taxi out, in honor of an old tradition at American. The placement of the flags bearing the company logo was unique to the “Flagship Fleet” of the airline. The pennant location and the placement of the passenger door on the American Airlines DC3s were located on the right side of the aircraft. Passengers and spectators at the terminal could readily watch the ceremonial placement of the flag at the aircraft’s arrival.

Courtesy: American Airlines.

Courtesy: American Airlines.

In order to celebrate this date, customers on the flight 90 received a very special treat from Chicago’s world famous Garrett Popcorn Shops and a commemorative photo album.

At airports around the world, American’s employees joined the birthday celebration with festivities.

American’s history as a commercial aviation pioneer has continued since Lindbergh’s first flight. American was the first airline to introduce nonstop transcontinental travel in 1953 and the first airline to hire an African American commercial pilot, Dave Harris, in 1964. The company invented loyalty programs when it introduced AAdvantage in 1981, and American merged with US Airways to regain its place as the world’s largest carrier in 2013.

American Airlines submits application to US Department of Transportation to operate scheduled service to Cuba

Courtesy: American Airlines.

Courtesy: American Airlines.

American Airlines last Wednesday submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation proposing to operate scheduled service between the United States and Cuba, including 10 daily frequencies to Havana from American’s Latin America gateway hub in Miami and additional service to Havana from American’s hubs in Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Chicago. American’s proposal also includes daily service between Miami and five other Cuban cities.

“American is the undisputed leader in serving the people and businesses of Miami-Dade County, which is the heart and soul of the Cuban-American community and home to nearly 50 percent of the Cuban-American population in the United States,” said American’s Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “American’s proposed service – from Miami and four other hubs – will provide a strong foundation for the sustained future growth of commercial and cultural ties between the U.S. and Cuba. We commend President Obama, Secretary Foxx, Secretary Kerry, and the Departments of Transportation and State for their leadership in achieving the historic resumption of scheduled air service with Cuba.”

American’s proposed Cuba service:

To Havana:

  • Miami – 10 daily frequencies
  • Charlotte – one daily frequency
  • Dallas/Fort Worth – one daily frequency
  • Los Angeles – one weekly frequency
  • Chicago – one weekly frequency

Also from Miami:

  • Two daily frequencies to Santa Clara
  • Two daily frequencies to Holguin
  • Two daily frequencies to Varadero
  • One daily frequency to Camaguey
  • One daily frequency to Cienfuegos

Source: American Airlines.

Boeing South Carolina’s 100th 787 delivered to American Airlines

Courtesy: Boeing.

Courtesy: Boeing.

Boeing South Carolina marked a milestone yesterday, with the delivery of the 100th airplane built at the North Charleston site. The airplane, a 787-8, was delivered to American Airlines in front of hundreds of Boeing South Carolina teammates.

“Reaching this milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team,” said Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina. “As we continue to prepare for the new 787-10 and production rate increases, we’re excited about what the future holds here in North Charleston.”

Yesterday’s delivery marked American’s first 787 from Boeing South Carolina and 14th overall. The airline has 28 more Dreamliners on order.

“The 787 has quickly become an important part of our fleet, allowing us to fly profitably to new places like Auckland, New Zealand,” said Chuck Schubert, Vice President of Network Planning at American Airlines. “When we’re trying to match the right plane to each route, the 787 is a great aircraft to have.”

Source: Boeing.