is on track to complete two-thirds of its planned MD80 fleet modifications
by the end of April, including increasing the number of First Class seats
from 14 to 16. The rest of the targeted fleet will be converted by early
June, in time for the busy summer season. The modifications will give American at least 16 First Class seats on its
narrowbody aircraft, which is 78 percent of its entire fleet of aircraft.
American’s narrowbody Boeing 757 fleet of 143 aircraft has 22 First Class
“This increase in First Class seats provides American’s loyal customers
with much more opportunity to upgrade,” said David Cush, Vice President -
Sales. “While other airlines are shrinking First Class, we are listening
to our customers who say upgrades are important to them, and we’re
The modifications also include the installation of larger overhead bins
and powerports on 77 former TWA MD80s, ensuring passengers a consistent
travel experience on American’s total MD80 fleet of 336 airplanes. The
modifications give customers more room to store their carry-on luggage and
more powerports for their laptop computers.
American said last fall that it would be adding both First Class and coach
seats to its MD80 fleet and coach seats to its other fleets. With these
modifications, 82 percent of the MD80 coach seats will retain 32 inches or
more of pitch and 72 percent of all of American’s narrowbody fleet will
have 32 inches or more.