They continue to spend money they do not have in order to squeeze more seats onto planes that they cannot sell. American is densifying aircraft to prepare for a future in which passengers demand the ability to buy more space for themselves.
American is even reducing the number of ‘extra legroom’ (i.e. more distanced) coach seats, and reducing the amount of space between first class seats too, all while installing uncomfortable ‘slimline’ seats with less padding – right as they are going to have to compete more than ever before to attract customers because planes aren’t going to be full for awhile.
As perplexing as it is to continue capital spending burn on this project at this time, it’s even stranger perhaps that they are continuing to invest in ‘Project Kodiak’ which gives firs class better under seat storage; better seat cushions; pop out drink holders; fixes issues with row 1; and changes the color of the divider between first class and coach, bringing it down further so that it is below the top of the first class seat in row 4 (there is still no bulkhead between the cabins).
The original Project Oasis seating is flawed. It’s almost as though no one sat in the seats before signing off on an investment to retrofit their entire narrowbody fleet and call it their new standard domestic product. So they have ‘Project Kodiak’ meant to at least improve first class on these planes.
- They run through a full Project Oasis retrofit, including installing a new flawed first class
- And then run through Project Kodiak, ripping out the new first class to put a new one back in.
That process makes little sense in normal times. It makes even less sense in 2020. And yet they are continuing Project Kodiak retrofits now as well. Boeing 737-800 N901NN just completed its Kodiak retrofit.