Spreading its wings: Specially configured Airbus A321s to debut on transcontinental routes for American Airlines

American Airlines soon will take advantage of the flexibility that Airbus’ single-aisle A320 Family offers to its operators, becoming the first airline to utilize an A321 aircraft outfitted with a three-class interior and full lie-flat seats in business and first class.

10 September 2013 Feature story

These Sharklet-equipped A321ceo (current engine option) jetliners – of which Airbus is scheduled to provide the first version to American Airlines later this year – are specially tailored for the carrier’s transcontinental flights across the United States. 

In addition to the upgraded seat offerings in first and business class, passengers throughout the cabin will experience full Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as inflight entertainment (IFE), 110v universal AC power outlets and USB jacks at every seat. For the first time on an A321, the interior also contains four full-service galleys. 

American Airlines plans to begin operations in early 2014 with this A321 configuration, starting with the 2,500-mile route between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Los Angeles International Airport, and later adding additional service linking JFK to San Francisco International Airport (nearly 2,600 miles). 

In July, American Airlines took delivery of its first A320 Family aircraft – Airbus’ initial A319 featuring Sharklets – as part of the carrier’s fleet renewal plan that includes 260 jetliners from this single-aisle product line comprised of both NEO (new engine option) and CEO variants.