American Airlines has delayed the rollout of its new premium economy cabin until late 2018.
According to FlightGlobal, the carrier is scheduled to complete retrofitting its Airbus A330-200s, Boeing 777 and 787 fleets by the third quarter of next year.
American president Robert Isom originally announced installation would be complete by June 2018.
Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Transportation Conference Thursday, American chief financial officer Derek Kerr said new premium economy seats will be available for purchase on all widebody international flights by the end of next year.
“We will be able to sell premium economy across the entire fleet internationally by that time,” said Kerr via FlightGlobal.
The 787-9s will be delivered with the cabin installed while work will begin on American’s 777-200s this quarter. From there, premium economy cabin installation will take place on the carrier’s A330-200s, 777-300ERs and 787-8s during the third quarter, fourth quarter (2017) and first quarter (2018), respectively.
American’s nine A330-300s and 30 767-300ERs will not be outfitted with the new cabins since they’ll be removed from the airline’s fleet in the coming years.
American began selling premium economy as a separate class on its 787-9s for flights in and out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport earlier this month and will add routes throughout the year.
Beginning July 5, premium economy will be available for a limited time on flights between Chicago and Paris. The fare class will debut on flights between Los Angeles and Tokyo on August 4. Premium economy will be available on flights between L.A. and Auckland, New Zealand (October 5) as well as between L.A. and Sydney, Australia (November 6) in the fall.
Some of the notable perks of flying American’s premium economy are wider seats with additional legroom, complimentary on-demand entertainment, free adult beverages, power outlets, USB ports and amenity kits.
Premium economy customers will also benefit from priority boarding.
FlightGlobal reports American is expecting cabin segmentation to generate approximately $1 billion in additional revenue by 2020.
American has also begun selling basic economy fares that offer passengers the lowest possible price in select markets. Said fares come with a litany of restrictions, however.
-Originally in Travel Pulse News May 19, 2017 by Patrick Clark
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