American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER: Virtual Tour and Review
DALLAS AND SÃO PAULO — American Airlines is the first U.S. airline to take delivery of a Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) and currently has two in service, out of the 20 it has ordered. The carrier is also the first U.S. airline to offer a Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft on flights to South America.
American took delivery of its first 777-300ER on December 11, 2012. The aircraft, with registration N718-AN, left Seattle that day and arrived in Dallas shortly before sundown.
American put its first 777-300ER into service just over six weeks later on January 31, 2013 with non-stop service from its hub in Dallas (DFW) to São Paulo (GRU), Brazil. The new aircraft will operate exclusively on the DFW-GRU route through February 28, 2013.
The next routes to get 777-300ERs include DFW and New York (JFK) to London-Heathrow. These routes will see the new aircraft starting on March 2 and March 15 respectively.
When the airline took delivery of the aircraft, Virasb Vahidi, the airline’s chief commercial officer, said that the 777-300ER “is an important step in demonstrating how American is focused on putting our customers at the center of everything we do.”
One thing was unusual about the delivery of the new aircraft: it came without American’s traditional livery on it. Instead, it was finished in a pearl grey color. After delivery, it was painted in a top-secret hangar and revealed along with American’s new look and logo on January 17.
Another unusual aspect of the 777 is how it was designed and developed. Unlike most airplanes, where the manufacturer designs and develops the aircraft without much customer input, eight airlines, including American, had a role in its development.
American’s inaugural 777-300ER flight left Dallas on January 31 at 8:33 p.m. arriving the next day in São Paulo at 10:22 in the morning. The inaugural northbound flight is scheduled to leave São Paulo on February 2 at 55 minutes after midnight.
By 2015, American will have a total of 20 777-300ERs in its fleet. The 777-300ER is replacing the smaller, less-efficient Boeing 777-200ER, which will be reconfigured for service on other routes. American plans to fly the 777-300ERs from New York to London, Dallas to London, and Dallas to São Paulo.
The American 777-300ER will offer a total of 304 seats in four separate cabins. Eight of those seats are in first class and are designated as Flagship Suites. Fifty-two are in business class, with 30 in a separate premium economy cabin called Main Cabin Extra, and 214 are in the main cabin.
The 777-300ER is the launch vehicle for American’s new first- and business-class seating, which includes new fully lie-flat seats in business, international Wi-Fi, and a walk-up bar for first- and business-class passengers. The 777-300ER will eventually replace American’s older 777-200ERs the New York-London and São Paulo routes and the older aircraft will get new interiors and move to other routes.