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by Tony Chai | Chief Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com


▲ American Airlines' Boeing 787-9 Dremlier.


American Airlines’ Asia Pacific Sales team recently invited Korean-American media outlets and provided a rare in-depth tour of the AA Control Center and the latest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.


The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner currently flies from DFW Airport to such overseas destinations as Seoul(Incheon), Sao Paulo, Madrid, and Paris.


With recent addition of the Korean Sales unit, AA Asia Pacific Sales team expects the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to play an important role in attracting more customers who fly to those regions.


One feature that stands out the most is the premium economy section. American Airlines is the first airline to get rid of the first class section and provide economy, premium economy, and business seats.


For $500 to $600 more, customers can upgrade from economy to premium economy. Premium economy seats are much more roomier and equipped with high tech features. They also come with much higher quality of food and services than the regular economy.


Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner can board total 285 customers, with 30 in the business cabin and 255 in the main cabin, where the economy and premium economy sections are.



▲ Senior Specialist Kevin Cho(left) and Asia Pacific Sales GM Steve Koo.


According to Steve Koo, who is the general manager of Asia Pacific Sales team, the decision to do away with the first class cabin is based on the current trend of the airline industry.


Corporate customers, who are the main target customers of the first class seats, can now fly private jets for about the same cost of commercial airliners’ first class seats. For example, a company may deposit $300,000 or so with a private jet provider and sign up for certain number of flights (50 flights, for example). The overall cost difference between the private jet and commercial airliner is minimal to none, said Koo during a media briefing after the tour last Tuesday, March 27th.


According to Koo, American Airlines is also making significant facility improvements at major airports, including DFW Airport. The Admirals Club at the DFW Airport is currently undergoing a major remodeling process.


Steve Koo believes the American Airlines’ large network of flights and its commitment to cultural awareness are two of the reasons why the airline outperforms its competitors.


“In terms of the network of flights and the number of airplanes, American Airlines is the largest carrier in the world” said Koo, who used to work at Asiana Airlines as a high level executive.


To give an idea of how large the network and the fleet size is, Koo compared American Airlines to Korean Air, which also provides direct flights from DFW to Seoul.

According to Koo, Korean Air owns about 130 airplanes while American Airlines boasts more than 1,500 airplanes.


“There are many advantages in being the largest carrier in the world, in terms of providing the highest quality services that the customers want” said Koo.



▲ According to Steve Koo, AA has the world's largest network of flights.


Kevin Cho, who heads the Korean Sales unit, couldn’t agree more.


“We want our customers to feel as comfortable as possible during their flights. And especially for our Korean customers who fly to Seoul, we make sure that we have the best flight attendants on board to make them feel right at home” said Cho.


10 flight attendants serve on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to Seoul, 3 of which are Korean-speakers.


According to Jennifer Eschberger, who is one of the Korean-American flight attendants for American Airlines, one Korean-American flight attendant serves the business cabin while the other two serve the main cabin.



▲ Korean-American flight attendant Jennifer Eschberger(left) and Flight Serivce Manager Liam Rivera(center)


The tour of the AA Control Center was provided by John Molitor, who is one of the managers at the control center.

According to Molitor, the control center used to be in a tall tower, where the operators had a clear view of terminals. But now it’s completely virtual – it operates out of a huge room, with walls of high tech TV monitors and computer screens.

The control tower monitors AA flights at terminals A, B, C, and D. American Airlines operates approximately 800 daily departures out of DFW Airport. 

Some of the functions of the AA Control Center include △ managing aircraft movement on the ramp areas △ evaluating weather, schedules and gate optimization to support on-time departures △ coordinating everyone who touches a flight from arrival at the gate to pushback, including American Airlines team members and contractors who handle things like cleaning, fueling and catering.


Fore more information on American Airlines’ flights and services, check out their website at ww.aa.com.



▲ AA Control Center is completely virtual.



▲ John Molitor(right) is one of the managers at the AA Control Center.