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  • American pushes full premium economy rollout to late 2018

American pushes full premium economy rollout to late 2018

American Airlines plans to complete installation of its new premium economy cabin on widebody aircraft by the third quarter 2018, a few months later than originally scheduled.

The Fort Worth-based carrier plans to complete retrofits to its Airbus A330-200s, Boeing 777 and 787 fleets by the third quarter next year, and be selling the cabin on all widebody international flights by the end of 2018, said American chief financial officer Derek Kerr at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Transportation Conference today.

Robert Isom, president of American, said in November 2016 that the installation of premium economy on widebody aircraft would be complete by June 2018.

American is taking delivery of 787-9s with the cabin installed and will begin retrofitting its 777-200s with the seats this quarter, Kerr's presentation today shows. Installations on the A330-200s will begin in the third quarter, on the 777-300ERs in the fourth quarter, and on the 787-8s in the first quarter of 2018.

The work will continue through the third quarter of 2018 with the 787-8s the last aircraft type to be complete, the presentation shows.

"We will be able to sell premium economy across the entire fleet internationally by that time," says Kerr.

American does not have plans to install premium economy on its nine A330-300s and 30 767-300ERs, both of which are scheduled for removal from the fleet in the next few years.

The airline began selling premium economy as a separate fare class on its 787-9s on 4 May, said Kerr today. The move is part of a larger segmentation initiative that also includes no-frills basic economy fares.

American aims to generate roughly $1 billion in additional revenue from cabin segmentation by 2020.

The carrier operates 15 A330-200s, 47 777-200s, 20 777-300ERs, 20 787-8s and six 787-9s, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

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