American Airlines today took delivery of its first 737-800 featuring the new Boeing Sky Interior design, as part of a broader $5.5 billion investment in new aircraft and onboard enhancements aimed at improving the customer experience.

The Boeing Sky Interior features larger overhead bins that pivot down and out similar to the 787 widebody, programmable LED lighting, sculpted sidewalls along with new designs for windows, switches and call buttons. The cabin is configured with 16 first class seat and 144 economy class seats specifically designed for American by Texas-based Weber Aircraft.

"At American, we are focused on providing a differentiated customer experience with a distinct focus on best delivering what premium customers value most - world class products and services," said Virasb Vahidi, American's chief commercial officer. "The delivery of the first 737-800 with the new Boeing Sky Interior is our most recent step to deliver on this commitment."

As part of its fleet renewal plan, American began taking delivery of new Boeing 737-800s without the Boeing Sky Interior in April 2009. To provide product consistency, American is updating its initial fleet of Boeing 737s, the last of which was delivered in 2001, to match the new 737 deliveries without the Boeing Sky Interior feature.

Other features of the fleet renewal programme include retirement of at least 24 MD-80s; retrofit of the 757 domestic fleet; a purchase agreement for an initial 42 787-9 Dreamliners; and deliveries of five 777-300ERS set for 2012 and 2013. The carrier also continues to take delivery of new 737-800s.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news