(A big hat tip reader monicatss for alerting me about this via Twitter) American was set to launch their new 777-300ER into service with an inaugural flight in December from DFW to Sao Paulo.
Last week AA disclosed the possibility of a delay, today it became official: the first flight has been postponed until January 31. 2013.
Here’s the text from an internal AA memo explaining the delay to staff:
The entry into service for our first Boeing 777-300ER is now anticipated early next year. Our new 777-300ER fleet is – and continues to be – a critical part of American’s fleet renewal efforts and we are aggressively working to incorporate these new aircraft into our fleet.
However, 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. In this case, the entry into service date has shifted because of production issues being encountered by our First Class suite supplier. We are working closely with our supplier to ensure that our final product reflects the inflight experience that our customers expect from American Airlines.
Our inaugural flight with our first 777-300ER is now anticipated to be DFW to Sao Paulo with a targeted date of Jan. 31, 2013.
· We are working with our First Class suite supplier to address production issues, which have, unfortunately, delayed the entry into service of our first new 777-300ER.
· We are working closely with Boeing to augment our delivery schedule, and appreciate our long-standing partnership with them.
· American intends to keep its originally announced route schedule for the 777-300ER, but the dates will shift to accommodate the new aircraft entry into service schedule, beginning with DFW to Sao Paulo early next year.
· The inaugural flight was originally scheduled for Dec. 13, 2012, from DFW to Sao Paulo. Customers on this flight will now travel aboard one of our 777-200 aircraft, which includes the customer-favorite Flagship Suite in our First Class cabin.
· The 777-300ER is part of our ongoing fleet renewal efforts, and we still plan to take delivery of 14 of these new aircraft. In fact, American is the first U.S. airline to order the 777-300ER and will be the first U.S. airline to take delivery of the 777-300ER.
If you’re currently booked on any flight using a 777-300ER between Dec. 13 and Jan. 30, 2013, you will automatically be rebooked on one of the 777-200 planes; you won’t need to take further action.
If you chose the flight with the specific intention to fly onboard a 777-300ER, and no longer want to travel on another aircraft type, American will change the reservation at no charge, or will refund the ticket. American is advising customers to contact Reservations to make the change.