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How Boeing's 777-300ER could help save American Airlines

American has gone through some very rough times. But now, it has an all-new livery and is the first U.S. carrier to fly Boeing's 777-300ER, the world's most successful two-engine plane.

American Airlines hopes its rise back to profitability and relevance can get a big jump start with the launch of all-new livery, and Boeing's 777-300ER. It is the first U.S. carrier to fly the plane, the most successful twin-engine aircraft in the world.
Chris Sloan/Airchive.com

It has become the world's most-successful twin-engine airplane, but until now, no U.S. carrier has flown Boeing's 777-300ER. But with the launch on Thursday of its Dallas to Sao Paolo, Brazil, flight, American Airlines has broken new ground, and is now depending on its fledgling 777-300ER fleet to re-earn its once legendary wings. And make it a lot of money.

Among the many passengers aboard the inaugural flight to Sao Paolo was Chris Sloan, an aviation writer who often flies on the most notable planes in the skies and blogs about those travels on Airchive.com. Sloan, who previously shared his impressions of the inaugural Boeing 787 Dreamliner commercial flight with CNET, has once again let us in on what it's like to be among the first people aboard a world-class airplane.

As Sloan notes, the past few years have not been kind to American Airlines. The carrier has gone through bankruptcy, seats becoming unbolted, a disastrous crash, and more.

But the airline is doing its best to come back from the dead, and the launch of service aboard the 777-300ER, as well as the roll-out of all-new livery, show that American can't be counted out.

As Sloan wrote:

In an era of smaller airliners, American inaugurated the 777-300, the largest new airliner by a U.S. carrier since the last Boeing 747-400s entered service with U.S. airliners in the late 1990s. Built to handle up to 386 passengers and fly up to 7,825 nautical miles, American's 777-300ER is the first plane flown by a U.S. carrier to feature a stand-up bar since the 1970s, Sloan wrote. American flies the aircraft in a 304-passenger, four-class and six-cabin configuration.

This inaugural, flight 963, from Dallas/Ft. Worth to São Paulo, Brazil in the author's view is one of the most significant in the airline industry in years because it is about something much bigger than just the launch of a new airliner, it's about the re-birth of a proud American institution that happens to bear the name of our country - American Airlines.