First class delays American 777-300 launch

Washington DC
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American Airlines has delayed the commercial launch of its Boeing 777-300ER to 31 January 2013 from 13 December due to production issues with the first class suites for the aircraft.

The Fort Worth-based Oneworld carrier says that the seats are manufactured by Zodiac UK, which is also supplying those used in its business class cabin, and that it is working with Boeing to "augment" the delivery schedule of the aircraft.

"Often times there are delays with the introduction of a new fleet type as there are a multitude of elements that must align in order to deliver a state-of-the-art product for our customers," says American. "In this case, the entry into service date has shifted because of production issues being encountered by our first class suite supplier."

The airline's planned flights for the 777-300ER between Dallas-Fort Worth and Sao Paulo will be flown on 777-200s between 13 December and 31 January 2013, according to an internal memo.

American planned to fly the aircraft three times per week between Dallas and Sao Paulo from 13 December to 31 December, then six times per week from 1 January to 30 January.

The carrier says that flights between Dallas and London Heathrow, New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) and London, JFK and Sao Paulo, and Los Angeles and London on the 777-300ER will go forward but with their launch dates pushed back accordingly.

Zodiac was not immediately available for comment.

American has orders for 14 777-300ERs.