American Airlines has taken delivery of the first Airbus A321 Transcontinental aircraft, complete with fully lie-flat First and Business Class seats.
According to American Airlines, the November 21 delivery of the first of 65 Airbus A321s on firm order helps continue the carrier’s fleet-renewal momentum.
In recent months American has been taking delivery of new Airbus A319 jets, as well as more Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
American’s first Airbus A321 is scheduled to enter service early next year on trunk transcontinental routes. The airline is dedicating its initial group of A321 deliveries to transcontinental service, mainly to replace aging Boeing 767-200ERs which the carrier now operates on the routes.
American says the interiors of its A321s will make it the only U.S. carrier to offer a three-class configuration when flying between New York JFK and Los Angeles, and New York JFK and San Francisco.
The A321T (as American is labeling each of the specially configured A321s which it dedicates to transcontinental service) will offer fully lie-flat seats in First and Business Class, with direct aisle access for all First Class customers for ease of moving about the cabin.
Additionally, the aircraft’s Economy-class cabin is equipped with Main Cabin Extra seating, giving Main Cabin customers the option of up to six inches of extra leg-room.
Every seat onboard features in-seat entertainment with up to 200 movies, up to 180 TV programs, more than 350 audio selections and up to 20 games. Individual AC power outlets and USB jacks are available at every seat throughout the aircraft. Customers will connect to the Internet via Gogo’s upgraded ATG-4 Wi-Fi service.
“As the only airline to offer a three-class transcontinental service, we’re delivering on what our customers flying between New York and the West Coast value,” says Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer.
“With fully lie-flat seats in the premium cabins, new menu options, and enhanced amenities, the A321T aircraft allows us to provide our customers with amenities that, until now, have traditionally been reserved for those traveling internationally,” adds Vahidi.
American will begin operating the A321T between New York JFK (IATA code JFK) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in January. The aircraft will initially operate two of American’s daily flights between JFK and LAX.
By June, A321Ts will be operating all of American’s frequencies between the two airports, with American increasing its service frequency on the route to 13 daily flights.
The A321T will also begin flying between JFK and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in March 2014 and will be operating all frequencies between the two airports in June, at which point American will have increased its service frequency to five daily flights.
As it re-equips to offer a younger and more modern fleet, American plans to take delivery of nearly 60 new aircraft in 2013, including new Boeing 777-300ER widebodies, Boeing 737-800s, Airbus A319s and Airbus A321Ts.
The airline will continue its fleet renewal program in 2014 with more new aircraft deliveries, including its first Boeing 787-8, which is scheduled to join American’s fleet late next year.
In addition, American’s current and future deliveries from the Airbus A320 family, including the A321T, feature Airbus’ Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS). This onboard cockpit technology increases pilots’ situational awareness during landing, reduces exposure to runway excursion risk, and, if necessary, provides active protection.
For more information on American’s Airbus A321T and other fleet renewal plans, visit www.aa.com/newplanes.