American Airlines is the first U.S. carrier to adopt Boeing’s 777-300ER jetliner, the extended-range version of its twin-engine 777-300. American indicated it is adding the 777-300ER as part of its fleet-modernization program, and it will enter its schedules early in January on the Dallas/Fort Worth-São Paulo route.

The 777-300ER is 19% lighter than its nearest competitor, Boeing claims, produces 22% less carbon dioxide ‘per seat,’ and costs 20% less per seat to operate. It will carry up to 386 passengers and has a maximum range of 7,930 nautical miles (14,685 km).

"This marks an important milestone in our fleet-renewal program and is another tangible example of our progress in building the new American for our customers and our people," stated American Airlines CFO Bella Goren. "This aircraft will provide our customers with a new level of comfort and convenience, along with delivering increased efficiency and better operating economics."

The 777-300 was designed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes to replace various 747 models, with comparable passenger capacities and range. But, it is a design rated to consume one-third less fuel and require 40% lower maintenance costs. The ER (“extended range”) variant involves raked and extended wingtips, a new main landing gear, reinforced nose gear, and extra fuel tanks. It is powered by GE90-115B turbofan engines, reportedly the most powerful jet engine now in commercial service.

Boeing also claims the 300ER model flies approximately 34% further than the 777-300 with a full load of passengers and cargo. The first 300ER was delivered to Air France in 2004.

Earlier this week, Boeing finalized an order from Turkish Airlines for 15 777-300ERs, a contract worth $4.7 billion at list prices the OEM stated. That agreement also includes options for five additional 777-300ERs. It is the highest-value jet order in Turkish Airlines' history.

Turkish Airlines' currently operates 12 777-300ERs, the first of which Boeing delivered in October 2010.

"This delivery demonstrates American's commitment to transforming its fleet into one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the industry," stated John Wojick, senior vice president, Global Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes of the American Airlines order. "The 777-300ER is the ideal airplane for American's fleet-renewal effort providing unparalleled operating economics, long-range capability, reliability and passenger comfort."