American Airlines, Inc. has exercised options for an additional 35 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s.
The order is part of American Airlines’ ongoing fleet renewal plan, replacing MD-80s with fuel-efficient Next-Generation 737s. The 737-800 is 35 per cent more fuel-efficient on a seat-mile basis than the MD-80s it will replace, according to Boeing, which inherited the MD-80 line in its merger with McDonnell Douglas in 1997.
“American Airlines is leveraging all the performance benefits of the Next-Generation 737 to enhance the airline’s competitive position, while providing an enhanced passenger travel experience,” says Marlin Dailey, vice president of sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “American’s investment in additional 737s demonstrates real confidence in the 737’s technology and economics. In addition, the new interiors on its existing 737 fleet and the new 737 Boeing Sky Interior on deliveries starting in 2011 will ensure American’s customers continue to enjoy an exceptional flying experience.”
“The 737-800 provides additional amenities for our customers while helping to reduce our operating and fuel costs and lessen our impact on the environment,” says Virasb Vahidi, chief commercial officer for American Airlines. “The 737 is a product that benefits all of American’s stakeholders and is a good fit for our current fleet renewal plans.”
Today’s 35 newly ordered aircraft build on an American order for 84 737s that began arriving in 2009. The airline already operates more than 130 737-800s under orders it had started placing in 1996. American currently expects to have a total of 195 737-800s in its single-aisle fleet by the end of 2012 (including at least some of the 35 newly ordered aircraft, according to American) and to date has ordered at least 228 737-800s, according to Wikipedia.
The 35 new aircraft will include the new Boeing Sky Interior along with comfortable First and Economy Class seats, bigger overhead storage bins, updated inflight entertainment systems, and more AC power ports. Over time, American intends to equip all of its 737s with Gogo Inflight Internet service, which will allow passengers to surf the Web, check e-mail and send instant messages conveniently from the air.
Last month, American Airlines said it is updating its existing 737-800s to match the customer benefits and amenities featured on its newly-delivered 737-800 aircraft to improve passengers’ travel experience. The update effort began in May and the retrofitting is being done by American’s mechanics at its maintenance base in Tulsa, Oklahoma.