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American Airlines drops first class to add more seats

American Airlines is getting jittery with dwindling passenger demand, particularly in its premium first class segment. The impact has been severe. This has rather prompted the world’s largest U.S.-based carrier to drop its first class completely and instead add more seats to its long-haul fleet of 47 Boeing 777-200 aircrafts.

The airline will now be installing new lie-flat business class seats across its long-haul Boeing 777 fleet. The business class cabins will undoubtedly be plusher than coach, but will however be lacking in some amenities such as slippers, pajamas and an amuse-bouche, which were provided in the first class.

The new changes will now leave the airline’s biggest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with international three-class service, including First Class, Business Class and Economy Class. American Airlines is currently possessing 14 Boeing 777-300ER aircrafts, with some of them being operated on most profitable international routes such as Miami-Sao Paulo. The airline is however using its smaller Boeing 777-200 aircraft to conduct flights for city pairs including Chicago-Beijing.

By doing away with first class on its Boeing 777-200 aircrafts, American Airlines consider it as a good step towards making profits by selling more business class seats now instead of the costlier first class. The first class fares were nearly double the price when compared to business class fares. The first class tickets were also four times as much as non-refundable business class tickets.

American Airlines has now entered into the footsteps of other global airlines, which have either dropped first class completely or offering limited first class seating. The lie-flat beds have now become a trend in business class cabins.

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