Bucking the trend of storing planes in the desert while riding out the global recession, American Airlines introduced the first of 76 new Boeing 737s it has just purchased. The new aircraft will fly on dozens of routes passing through Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
American officials called the deal an investment in the future. The new aircraft sport passenger-friendly amenities such as articulated seats, more onboard storage space and a planned in-flight Internet service as part of upgrades to entertainment systems.
American also entered into a separate deal with Boeing to acquire 42 of the 787-9 Dreamliner planes, with the option to purchase up to 58 more 787 jets.
The acquisition of 76 of the737-800s through early 2011 represents a doubling of that airplane model flown by American.
"It was exciting to pick up the first aircraft," said 737 Fleet Captain Jim Kaiser. "To walk out on the Boeing ramp and see the shiny fuselage with AA on it was impressive." Kaiser and and Captain Jim Thomas, 737 Fleet Training Manager, flew the first plane from Boeing in Seattle to Tulsa.