American Airlines will not feature seat-back screens on latest Boeing 737 Max commercial jets to be used on domestic routes
In the latest attempt to save on capital expenditure, American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) recently announced to not feature seat-back video screens on the latest commercial jets acquired from Boeing Co (NYSE:BA). The airline attributes its current decision to the fact that mostly passengers carry their own mobile phones, tablet, and laptops that they use during the flight.
American Airlines reported that satellite-based internet has given passengers access to improved in-flight internet services that increase customers’ in-flight entertainment. The airline further reported that almost 90% of its customers already bring a device or screen with them while they travel.
The airline’s current move seems to contradict its chief executive officer, Doug Parker’s statement less than a year ago that all of the airline’s aircraft will have a seat-back screen in near future. Previously, airline’s chief thought that in order to remain competitive in the market, all of the airline’s fleet should have seat-back screens.
Till now, American Airline’s current decision is limited to commercial jets manufactured by Boeing, but the implementation of current decision on jets acquired by other aircraft manufacturer has not yet been disclosed. American Airlines ordered 100 Boeing’s latest 737 Max series that were supposed to have the seat-back screens, out of which the airline is expected to receive four commercial jets this year.
The screen will not be available on most of the domestic flights, but its international flights, on which Airbus A321T is operated, will contain the screens, along with few single-aisle commercial jets used on specific routes. As part of the current announcement, the airline reported that customers will be able to view the airline’s on-board library and live television on their personal devices free of charge, while in-flight satellite connections to get internet access or text messages will be charged.
Analysts related to the industry believe that American Airlines intends to save capital expenditure and operating expenses through the current move with the aim to improve its operating margin.