U.S. Airlines Are Shifting Their Battle for Customers from Coach to Business Class.
New York (AirGuide – Pyramid Media Group) July 26, 2006 – U.S. airlines are shifting their battle for customers from coach to business class. American Airlines is revamping the business-class sections on its long-haul jets, adding lie-flat seats and individual entertainment centers to better compete with carriers that already offer similar creature comforts. The makeover is complete on one plane used mostly on trans-Atlantic flights, and American plans to retrofit business cabins in its Boeing 767-300 and Boeing 777 aircraft over the next year or so. Don’t expect American will be alone. As the low-fare war for budget travelers seems to wind down or be on hold, major airlines are increasingly reaching out to those who prefer high-end service. The largest U.S. carriers &emdash; those that fly international and transcontinental routes &emdash; have been devoting their resources to in-flight luxuries such as more leg room, better entertainment and fully reclining seats in first- and business-class cabins.
American Airlines has unveiled its Next-Generation Business Class at the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) International Convention & Exposition held last week in Chicago and will start outfitting aircraft from September onwards. The only major US carrier not to go into voluntary receivership in recent times, the OneWorld member is in a strong position to invest in a strategy of investment in its long haul routes, top quality cabin comfort being seen as an essential requirement. Earmarked initially for the transatlantic services as well as on select routes within the United States and to Latin America the new Boeing 767-300 business class is designed to give passengers more comfort, flexibility and privacy. It features novel, innovative, lie-flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration, a personal in-flight entertainment system with audio and video on demand, state-of-the-art lighting and ergonomically designed overhead bins. Beginning in 2007, American will also install its new Next-Generation Business Class on its Boeing 777 fleet. At the same time American will install its award-winning Flagship Suite First Class seats on all of its Boeing 777 aircraft that do not currently feature the product.
North America and coming soon: Latin America, Europe,
Middle East & Africa, Asia Pacific.
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