American Airlines to fit larger overhead luggage bins on A321 fleet

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December 7, 2017: In a bid to modernise and add enhanced travel experience, American Airlines (AAL) has engaged Airbus to provide cabin upgrades for 202 of its A321s in-service, which is the largest retrofit project in the history of Airbus.

With this, American Airlines has become the first retrofit customer for Airbus’ new Airspace XL bins.

The larger bins is said to offer a 40 percent increase in storage space for carry-on bags, reducing bin crowding, and the need to check bags at the gate. It will further allow a more relaxed boarding experience to both passengers and cabin crews.

“Thanks to the 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 of Airbus.

“It’s a value-add that our services can bring to American Airlines. It’s a major step for Airbus to enter into the US services market, and we are grateful to the airlines for instilling their trust in our expertise,” said Martinez.

Meanwhile, according to the global services forecast of Airbus, the commercial aircraft upgrades services market is expected to be worth $180 billion in the next 20 years. It will be mainly driven by high competition between airlines who value the ‘passenger experience’ as a differentiator. It includes comfort, connectivity and systems upgrades. Similarly, 14 percent of this demand is expected to generate from North America.

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