According to the Dallas News Business, American Airlines is planning to retrofit its Boeing 777-200ER fleet by the end of this year. The airline will be removing First Class seats and installing Main Cabin Extra seating instead, which is equivalent to premium economy seats.
Summary of the retrofit changes:
- Each airplane will have 260 seats after the retrofit work, compared to 247 now.
- The airplane loses its first-class cabin with 16 lie-flat seats.
- Its business class increases from 37 angle-flat seats to 45 lie-flat seats. Each seat will have aisle access – no stepping over a neighbor to get out.
- The current configuration is 2-3-2, meaning people sitting in the window seats and the middle seat in the center section have seatmates between them and the aisle.
- The 777-200s will get 45 “Main Cabin Extra” seats – six inches of extra legroom seating in the coach section, for sale or for high-value customers flying in coach.
- The regular coach section will have 170 seats, compared to 194 standard seats now.
American’s new 777-300ERs offer three classes of service, and we are using these planes in markets with a great customer demand for a First Class product. The 777-200ERs will be retrofitted to better match capacity and demand of the markets they will serve. In addition, our decision to move to a two-class configuration on our 777-200ERs allows us to better align ourselves with our competitors, many of whom offer a two-class configuration today.
For the coach seats, American said that:
“Both the Main Cabin Extra seat and the Main Cabin seat will be replaced with the same seats offered on our 777-300ER fleet. Each Main Cabin Extra and Main Cabin seat holds an 8.9-inch HD-capable touchscreen including up to 250 movies, 180 TV programs, 350 audio selections and 20 games. Main Cabin Extra and Main Cabin seats will also offer individual 110v AC power outlets and USB ports at every seat.”
American said this move comes at a time when the airline is trying to better align itself with other competitors, many of whom currently offer a two-class configuration.