American Airlines remains bullish on the Boeing 777-300ER after opting to add two additional aircraft to its 2012 and 2013 delivery stream. The carrier initially announced plans to become the first US 777-300ER operator in January, and in February exercised a single option for a third aircraft.
Today the carrier said it was adding two more of the type for delivery in 2012 and 2013.
During a call with investors to discuss first quarter earnings, American president Thomas Horton explained the company has concluded a lot of near-term rewarding opportunities exist with the 777-300ER both in its "cornerstone" markets and its transatlantic and transpacific joint ventures recently launched with its Oneworld alliance partners.
American during the last couple of years has refocused its capacity to five key markets - Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Chicago and Dallas - and carrier CEO Gerard Arpey says 98% of the airline's flying is operated from those regions.
Horton describes the 777-300ER as "uniquely effective", with 7-8% better unit costs than a 747-400. He also declares the aircraft ideal for slot constrained airports "where we see opportunities".
Recently Emirates president Tim Clark remarked that once American begins operating the 777-300ER, "they will realise how good it is". Clark believes the capability of the 777-300ER is partly to blame for the lackluster sales of the 747-8I.