American to launch New York-L.A. shuttle

A new American Airlines 737-800 aircraft featuring a new paint job with the company's new logo sits at a gate at O'Hare Airport on Jan. 29, 2013, in Chicago, Ill. This year, American plans to take delivery of nearly 60 new aircraft featuring the logo and paint. American currently has a fleet of nearly 900 aircraft that fly more than 3,500 daily flights worldwide.
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NEW YORK American Airlines plans to launch hourly shuttle service between New York and Los Angeles early next year.

The move by Fort Worth-based American comes as it battles United Airlines and Delta Air Lines on the most popular route in the U.S.

American will use smaller, single-aisle A321s to replace the larger Boeing 767s currently flying the route. The number of seats on each plane will drop from 168 to 102.

American currently does eight to 10 trips a day each way on the highly lucrative New York-Los Angeles route, depending on the day of the week.

American on Wednesday also unveiled a new VIP check-in area at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Similar "Flagship Check-In" areas already exist in Los Angeles and Miami.