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American plans dense 737 Max economy seating

American Airlines will configure its new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft with 172 seats, increasing density from its comparable 737-800 aircraft.

The Fort Worth-based carrier will have 16 first class, 36 extra-legroom main cabin extra and 120 economy seats on its 737 Max that begin arriving in the third quarter, a spokesman says.

The Max configuration compares to 160 seats, including 16 in first, 30 in main cabin extra and 114 in economy, on the 737-800s in the American fleet.

American will configure the Max with some of the tightest economy seat pitch in its fleet. Three rows will have 29in pitch while the rest of economy has 30in pitch, the spokesman says.

“The arrival of the 737 Max presents an opportunity to take a fresh look at the inside of the airplane so it can be a good product for customers and make efficient use of the space available," he says.

American anticipates its first 737 Max 8 in the third quarter and four more aircraft before the end of 2017, its latest fleet plan shows.

The carrier has firm orders for 100 737 Max 8s, the Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

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