American Airlines began their project to retrofit business class seats on their Boeing 777s (and other aircraft) to be fully flat with all aisle access under old pre-merger management.
The plan for the Boeing 777-200s was to have 260 seats: 45 business class, 45 Main Cabin Extra and 170 economy seats.
My understanding was that post-merger, management decided to go with a denser configuration and fewer business class seats: 289 total seats with 37 business class, 48 Main Cabin Extra, and 204 economy.
- Boeing 777-200s that were going in for reconfiguration first then would get the bigger business class with fewer seat configuration.
- Later 777-200s would get the denser configuration.
- And then the 260 seat configuration planes would themselves get reconfigured with 289 seats.
That last step is no longer happening.
American tells me,
We’ve decided to subfleet the 13 aircraft with 260 seats. As for routes they’ll fly, etc. I don’t think any decisions have been made on that yet.
There will be 13 Boeing 777-200s that get reconfigured with 45 business class seats and they will keep those 45 business class seats.
The rest of the 777-200s will be reconfigured with the denser configuration as-planned.
More business class seats — 45 instead of 37 on these 13 aircraft — is great for passengers, and for upgrades.
The 260 seat 777-200s will be all receiving this custom-designed business class seat from Zodiac:
Up to 10 of the denser configuration plane will receive this business class seat as well, with the balance (as I reported earlier today) getting a new business class seat from a supplier that has not yet been named.