As widely predicted, American Airlines will adopt a dense ten-across layout for the economy cabin on it its B777-300ERs which enter service this December.
Seating charts now posted on airline GDSs show the B777-300ER configured with eight seats in first class (1-2-1), 52 seats in business class (1-2-1) and 250 seats in economy class. The large economy cabin is mainly disposed 3-4-3.
I say “mainly” because at the front of economy class there are four rows of seating which American classifies as Main Cabin Select (for more details on this product click here).
Here the configuration will be nine across (3-3-3) with, according to the chart, American not selling one seat in the middle bank of four.
At the time of writing it is unclear how much extra American will charge for a seat in Main Cabin Select.
American’s B777-300ER will enter service between Dallas and Sao Paulo (Brazil) on December 13. This aircraft type is also planned to operate from Dallas to London Heathrow on December 30 followed by New York JFK to London Heathrow on February 14 (see online news May 24).
It means the mammoth US carrier will follow the increasing number of carriers who have adopted this unpopular economy class B777 layout. It is disliked both by readers of our online forum and other frequent travellers.
But increasing the number of economy class seats will lower operating costs and enable American to keep fares in check.
In other news, United is to follow carriers like Qatar Airways and Air India and by decreasing space in its B787 economy cabins (see In Focus in the May 2012 edition of Business Traveller). Originally it was thought B787 carriers would accommodate economy passengers eight across (2-4-2). But with the exception of Japan’s JAL and ANA, other B787 carriers are moving to nine across.
Originally United had planned to operate the B787 with 36 business, 87 economy plus and 96 economy seats. But the revised layout means it will accommodate 36 in Business First (2-2-2), 63 in Economy Plus and 120 in economy. Both economy cabins are nine across (3-3-3). United’s B787 will debut on the Denver-Tokyo route next year (see online news May 23).
Report by Alex McWhirter