American Airlines (AAL) has chosen Services by Airbus to provide cabin upgrades for 202 of its A321s in-service, a deal which marks the largest retrofit project in Airbus’s history. The airline will be the first retrofit customer for the Airspace XL stowage bins, which Airbus says provide a 40% increase in storage space for carry-on bags.
“Thanks to this Airbus cabin retrofit, passengers on American Airlines’ A321s will be able to board faster and will enjoy an overall improved travel experience,” said Laurent Martinez, head of Services by Airbus. “This is exactly the type of added-value that our services can bring to airlines. This contract is a major step for Airbus into the US services market, and we are grateful to American Airlines for their trust in our expertise.”
The upgrades are part of a project which will standardize American Airlines’ A321s with a common seat count and interior, providing passengers with a consistent travel experience. New production A321s for American Airlines will also be equipped with Airspace XL bins.
Airbus’ Global Services Forecast projects that over the next 20 years the commercial aircraft upgrades services market will be worth US$180 billion, driven in part by high competition between airlines who value the ‘passenger experience’ as a differentiator (comfort, connectivity, etc), as well as systems upgrades.