photo by caribbAmerican Airlines has taken delivery of its first new planes since 2006 - seventy-six additional Boeing 737-800s. AA plans to use them to phase out out about a quarter of their MD-80 fleet, which are older, less efficient, and more prone to maintenance issues than the 737s. The new 737s will also carry more passengers (160) than the airline's previous 737s (sometimes as low as 134); this will be accomplished by a thinner divider between first class and coach and using thinner seats, which AA claims are more comfortable than the old ones. The galleys in coach class are also gone, since meals aren't served anymore in coach.
American is also going to base some of the new 737s out of its Chicago hub. Previously, it had kept almost all of its 737-800s flying out of its Dallas and Miami hubs, and kept the MD-80s at Chicago. But when the MD-80 faced serious mechanical issues last year, the airline was forced to scrub hundreds of flights at O'Hare. The introduction of 737s there should lower their reliance on a single aircraft type for the bulk of their domestic flying.