With confetti cannons and Dreamsicles, American Airlines unveiled its newest addition Wednesday.
The Fort Worth-based carrier showed off the Boeing 787 Dreamliner at its maintenance hangar at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. The aircraft, which will begin domestic flights May 7, will be used primarily on international routes out of DFW to Beijing; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Shanghai.
Employees took selfies in front of the aircraft that had been delivered the night before. American employee Diane Stauber loved “the new plane smell” and said she found the economy seats comfortable although she’d like to sit in the lie-flat business-class seats for a flight.
“The business-class section, I can only dream about getting in there one day but it’s absolutely gorgeous,” said Stauber, one of hundreds of employees who toured the aircraft.
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The Boeing 787 is made primarily of composite materials instead of the usual aluminum on the fuselage. The windows are larger and the carbon fiber wings are flexible.
“It’s a smoother ride because of new technologies and cleaner air,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “All those things make a more pleasant experience for the passengers.”
The carrier has been receiving the Boeing 787s at a slower rate than it originally anticipated, as issues have arisen installing the new lie-flat seats from Zodiac Aerospace. Last week, American said it amended its delivery agreement with Boeing to defer four 787 aircraft deliveries from 2016 to 2017 and one from 2017 to 2018.
American has 226 seats on the Boeing 787 with 28 lie-flat business-class seats, 48 main cabin extra seats and 150 main cabin seats. The airline has 42 Boeing 787s on order with the option to buy 58 more.
On board, passengers will experience mood lighting, larger overhead bins and dimmable windows on each flight. Passengers can also send chat messages on their seat-back screens to other passengers in different seats with the “seat-to-seat chat” function.
“This airplane provides just an unbelievable customer experience,” said American’s vice president of global marketing Fernand Fernandez, noting that all seats have USB power ports and in-flight entertainment systems. “You have the ability to actually watch movies, TV shows and circumnavigate the Earth 14, 15 times without seeing the same program twice.”
Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631