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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

American Confirms 1st 787 International Routes to Beijing, Buenos Aires

American Airlines (AA), which took delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (B788) last month, officially announced today the first revenue flights for the new advanced widebody aircraft.

AA's B788 will be based at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), AA's headquarters and main hub. On May 7, it will initial fly domestic familiarization and training flights to Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) twice daily.

On June 2, the B788 will make its inaugural international flight from DFW to Beijing, China (PEK). After its return from PEK, on June 4 it will then fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE).

These flights will be available for booking starting this Saturday, February 14.

"We look forward to welcoming our international customers onboard the 787 with its modern amenities and comforts beginning this summer," said Andrew Nocella, American's chief marketing officer. "Adding the 787 Dreamliner to our network gives us the opportunity to increase our efficiency on long-haul flights across the globe and potentially open up new markets in our network. It's a big win for customers and just the latest example of how American is going for great."

For travelers from the United States to Vietnam, AA's DFW-PEK flight opens up another option, as AA fare rules generally allow passengers to connect in China onto Vietnam Airlines (VNA) and other carriers. For instance, a passenger can fly DFW-PEK then onward to Saigon (SGN) or Hanoi (HAN) on VNA.

VNA is set to take delivery of its own Dreamliner later this year.

The B788 will have 2 classes of service, with 28 lie-flat seats in business class with all-aisle access, arranged in a unique 1-2-1, foreward/backward-facing configuration. In-flight entertainment is on a 15.3-inch HD touchscreen, and Bose noise canceling headsets will be provided. A walk-up bar for midflight drinks and snacks will also be available.

In economy, there are 198 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration, 48 of which will be in the extra-legroom Main Cabin Extra section, reserved for the airline's elite passengers and also available for a fee. Each economy seat will feature a 9-inch HD touchscreen.

All seats will feature universal AC and USB power outlets, as well as onboard Wi-Fi.

AA has ordered 42 Boeing 787s in total, in both the -8 and the stretched -9 versions, with options for 58 more.

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