American Airlines will debut its new Boeing 787-8 aircraft on flights to Beijing and Buenos Aires from its Dallas/Fort Worth hub in June.
The Dreamliner will enter service on flights between Dallas/Fort Worth International and Chicago O’Hare International airports on 7 May before shifting to the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier’s new Dallas/Fort Worth-Beijing flight on 2 June. It will also operate flights between Dallas/Fort Worth and Buenos Aires from 4 June.
“We look forward to welcoming our international customers onboard the 787 with its modern amenities and comforts beginning this summer,” says Andrew Nocella, chief marketing officer of American, in a statement. “Adding the 787 Dreamliner to our network gives us the opportunity to increase our efficiency on long-haul flights across the globe and potentially open up new markets in our network.”
The 787 will replace an up to 269-seat Boeing 777-200 on both the Dallas/Fort Worth-Beijing and Dallas/Fort Worth-Buenos Aires routes. The former route begins on 7 May.
American took delivery of its first 787-8, registration N800AN, on 22 January. Its second Dreamliner, registration N801AC, is scheduled for delivery this month, the Ascend Fleets database shows.
The airline is configuring its 787-8s with seats for 226 passengers, including 28 in business class with lie-flat forward and rear facing seats, 48 in Main Cabin Extra and 150 in economy. The aircraft will be equipped with satellite wi-fi.
This compares to 219 seats, including 36 business, 70 extra-legroom economy and 113 economy, on the 787-8s in United Airlines’ fleet, the only other operator of the type in the USA.
American has long planned to operate its first 787s on domestic flights before shifting the aircraft to international routes.
“You need to spend some time with a new aircraft type flying it around until you have a critical mass where you can actually do an international route,” said Doug Parker, chairman and chief executive of the airline, in an interview in July 2014. “You need more than one airplane to fly international routes.”
American has firm orders for 20 more 787-8s – including N801AC – and for 21 787-9s, Ascend shows. It is scheduled to take delivery 11 more 787s this year.