New jets for China, Taiwan

Air China’s new-generation B747-8 ... four-class layout

BOEING and China Airlines celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 777-300ER (Extended Range) last month The new plane is the first of ten 777-300ERs that the Taiwanese carrier plans to introduce in the coming years.

“The introduction of the Boeing 777-300ER fleet is an important milestone for China Airlines,” says China Airlines chairman Huang-Hsiang Sun.

“Over the past two years, China Airlines has taken a broad new approach and philosophy to cabin design. In addition to enhancing safety and fuel efficiency, China Airlines is making a pioneering move in the airline industry to incorporate Taiwan’s cultural creativity into its cabin interior. I am confident that this will leave a lasting impression on passengers and enhance our competitiveness.”

China Airlines will introduce a new, state-of-the-art cabin interior on-board its 777-300ER designed by award-winning Taiwanese architect Ray Chen. The airline configured its 777-300ER to seat 358 passengers in a three-class layout highlighted by the new ‘Family Couch’ seats in economy class, where three seats convert into a flat surface for rest.

China Airlines will launch operations of its first 777-300ER to Hong Kong and eventually introduce the aircraft on transpacific routes, connecting Taipei with major cities in North America, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. 

The Boeing 777-300ER is equipped with the world's most powerful GE90-115B commercial jet engine, and can travel, with a standard three class configuration, a maximum range of 7,825 nautical miles (14,490 km).

Meanwhile, China's first Boeing B747-8 was delivered to Air China during a grand aircraft delivery ceremony in Seattle, US. A member of the latest generation B747 family, the aircraft arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport on October 1, celebrating China’s National Day, and promptly joining the fleet in October.

This new B747 is more efficient, quieter and more environmentally friendly, and will become one of the leading wide-body types on Air China’s international long-haul routes. It is 16 per cent more fuel efficient than B747-400, produces lower emissions, and uses new noise-reduction technologies making it 30 per cent quieter.

The cabin interior decor is the brainchild of Han Meilin, a celebrated Chinese artist who was the designer of Air China's corporate logo. The patterns, which depict three traditional Chinese cultural elements – beautiful clouds, pottery pieces and auspicious phoenix – blend in perfectly with the posh cabin. The three elements represent heaven, earth and flight, conveying the message that the heaven, the land and man are in perfect harmony in a peaceful and happy world. The interior decor is intended to expose passengers to Chinese culture once they step into the cabin.

The B747-8 is configured with a four-class layout – First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class – for the first time.

The First Class and Business Class are outfitted with ergonomically designed seats which can turn into full-flat beds, while the Premium Economy Class offers bigger seat pitch with legroom that is 120 per cent of that in standard Economy Class.