American Introduces New Route, New Plane This Week

by Chris Dong

American Airlines is set to start up two new services this week from its Phoenix Sky Harbor hub. This includes a route expansion to its mini-hub at London Heathrow as well as the introduction of American’s new Airbus A321neo.

New American Airlines London Service 

Beginning today, American launches its new service between Phoenix and London. The flight was originally slated to be a seasonal operation through October, but the airline announced last month it would fly year-round. That probably means initial sales for the flight were strong, and American could justify the move before the route even began.

American’s London flight, operated by a Boeing 777-200, departs from Phoenix in the early afternoon which will complement British Airways’ flight that leaves later in the evening.

  • AA194 Phoenix to London departing 3:10pm and arriving 9:25am (+1 day)
  • AA195 London to Phoenix departing 9:30am and arriving 12:30pm

American’s New Airbus A321neo 

American will begin flying its newest plane type, the Airbus A321neo on April 2 between Phoenix and Orlando. This is the first of 100 new A321neos that will be delivered.

Where American’s Newest Plane Will Fly

Once the airline takes more deliveries, additional routes will include Phoenix to Anchorage later this summer and Phoenix to Los Angeles and Hawaii later this year. The A321neo is set to replace American’s aging Boeing 757s.

What It’s Like Inside American’s Newest Plane

American’s other newly delivered plane, the 737 MAX, has gotten a lot of flack for its cramped conditions, small bathrooms, and other un-customer-friendly features. Unfortunately, American is doing much of the same here by installing more seats into the A321neo compared to its current non-neo A321 aircraft.

  • Total Count: 196 seats
  • First Class: 20 seats
  • Main Cabin Extra: 47 seats
  • Main Cabin: 129 seats

American will be reconfiguring its current lineup of A321s to match this seat layout. Unfortunately, there are no personal seatback screens (the airline will also be taking out seatback screens for planes that had it), but there is fast ViaSat Wi-Fi for bring-your-own-device streaming.

One benefit of this plane is new “XL” oversized luggage bins so more carry-ons can fit onboard. Regrettably, American’s newest planes are still a far cry from Delta’s new customer-focused A220.

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