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China Airlines' first Boeing 777-300ER B-18051.
China Airlines' first Boeing 777-300ER B-18051. Boeing image.

China Airlines receives first Boeing 777-300ER featuring “family couch” economy seat

Taiwan’s China Airlines’ first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft has landed at its home base of Taipei. Line number 1227, registration B-18051 is part of a 10 aircraft order. The carrier will induct two more 777-300ERs in October and November this year.

The 777-300ERs will feature a new cabin product designed by award-winning Taiwanese architect Ray Chen. China Airlines will seat 358 passengers on its new aircraft in a three class cabin configuration. Business, premium economy and economy class.

The Air New Zealand inspired Family Couch onboard the new Boeing 777-300ER of China Airlines
The Air New Zealand inspired Family Couch on-board the new Boeing 777-300ER of China Airlines. The footrests incline up 90 degrees converting three seats in to a couch-bed.

The economy class will feature the new ‘Family Couch’ seats similar to the ‘Sky Couch’ pioneered by Air New Zealand, where three seats convert into a flat surface with the footrests inclining up 90 degrees. China Airlines is the first airline in the world to license Skycouch from Air New Zealand. There will be 30 Family Couch seats in the first 10 rows of economy class. Regrettably, the airline has opted for the 10-abreast 17 inch bone-crunching economy class seating.

Premium economy class aboard China Airlines' Boeing 777-300ER
Premium economy class aboard China Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER

The premium economy will feature 39 inch seat pitch in an eight abreast 2-4-2 arrangement. These seats feature a hard-shell back with a seat slide-forward arrangement, similar to the premium economy of Air France. An intelligent move by the airline considering the recent spate of incidents in the United States and on-going debate about reclining seats and the effect on passengers seated in the row behind.

'Sky Lounge' on board China Airlines business class 777-300ER
‘Sky Lounge’ on board China Airlines business class 777-300ER

The Premium Business Class will have 40 flat-bed seats in a 10 row herringbone arrangement and will feature the ‘Sly Lounge’ which will offer speciality teas, coffees and a bar, along with green bean cakes, pastries, nuts, tapas and other snacks.

New business class on China Airlines Boeing 777-300ER
New business class on China Airlines Boeing 777-300ER

Since this is the first 777 of any variant for China Airlines, the new 777-300ERs will be a new aircraft type for the airline. The flight, cabin and ground crew will need training and a minimum number of landings before it can operate on long distance flights. The carrier will use the new aircraft on the Taipei Hong Kong route beginning October 10th, and commence using the new aircraft on the Taipei Los Angeles service in December later expanding to New York JFK and San Francisco in 2015.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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