Skift Take

American’s Airbus A319 and A320 fleet will soon have more first class seating, larger overhead bins and outlets at every seat.

American Airlines is betting big on domestic first class. 

The carrier said it plans to retrofit its Airbus A319s and A320s in 2025 to accommodate more first class seating, larger overhead bins and outlets at every seat as part of a push to meet growing demand for premium travel. 

The A319 fleet will include 12 domestic first class seats, while the A320s will have a total of 16 first class seats. With the retrofits, American expects to expand premium seating on its fleet by more than 20% by 2026. 

American’s expansion into first class comes as the carrier placed a blockbuster for 260 aircraft, which includes 85 Boeing 737 Max 10s and 85 Airbus A321neos. 

Since the pandemic, airlines have reported a surge in demand for premium seating, even from leisure travelers. And it seems as if that trend is here to stay. 

For example, Delta Air Lines announced in January that it would add eight more first class seats on its Airbus A350 fleet. The Atlanta-based carrier also recently rolled out new premium seats on its Boeing 737-800s that give passengers more privacy and storage space. 

United Airlines is also in the process of upgrading its first class seating on narrowbody jets. The Chicago-based carrier unveiled new first class seats in July for its Boeing 737s that have charging stations and winged headrests. 

American also plans to expand the number of premium seats on its intercontinental by 60% by 2026, with chief commercial officer Vasu Raja saying the airline has noticed a broader trend toward combined business and leisure travel. At the Skift Global Forum in 2022, Raja said such blended trips made up half of American’s revenues


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Tags: airbus a319, airbus a320, american airlines, delta air lines, premium travel, united airlines

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