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Wendy is an IFE Agent responsible for aggregating airline news specifically related to Inflight entertainment. She compiles stories relevant to business travelers, airline industry folks, marketers and tech geeks. IFE News doesn't create original content, but rather posts compelling editorial from global media outlets.

American Airlines Reveals Design Of New European Made Airbus A319

American Airlines Reveals Design Of New European Made Airbus A319

Despite turbulence in the merger with US Airways, American Airlines continues to move forward with its fleet revitalization plans. Last month they launched the regional Embraer ERJ -2.16%-175 aircraft on routes out of Chicago. This month, they’re showcasing the design of their new midrange Airbus A319.

This is the first time in recent history

that American Airlines, arguably a flagship carrier of the United States, has invested in an airframe manufactured outside of the country. The initial order announcement in 2011 brought criticism from many who expected American to purchase only American-made planes, but the airline received a better deal on the European-made Airbus fleet.

I took a walk through the new aircraft at a private hanger in Dallas Fort Worth Airport this afternoon.

Unique to this aircraft is In Flight Entertainment (IFE) system in each seatback, a feature absent on almost all of American’s domestic fleet but rapidly spreading through other carriers. The Android-backed entertainment system pumps out nearly 200 pre-loaded television programs, 200 movies and 350 audio selections throughout the cabin on personal 12.1” screens in First and 8.9” screens in Economy. Additionally, each seat also has 110V AC power, USB ports and jacks to connect an iPhone 4 to the system. Brian Richardson, Director of Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity tells me, passengers will soon be able to plug in a USB stick with pre-loaded music for the system to play.

The A319 will be initially rotated into service in September from Dallas/Fort Worth and will primarily serve domestic routes. The aircraft can fit 128 passengers, though the first class cabin is strangely only equipped with eight first class seats (by contrast, the regional ERJ-175 has 12 while the current mid-rate MD-80 has 16).

Still, aesthetic and in-flight product are an order of magnitude better than the current offerings from American, so this will be a welcome change to most domestic passengers.

American Airlines Airbus A319 Launch

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American Airlines A319 Exterior

American Airlines A319 Exterior

American Airlines A319 Exterior

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