Friday, July 4, 2014

China Airlines New Boeing 777-300ER Website Up

A few days ago, I wrote about leaked renderings of China Airlines' brand new Boeing 777-300ER and opportunities to redeem Delta Skymiles for the reverse herringbone lie-flat business class seats from LAX and JFK. Well, it looks like the official welcome website for the aircraft has launched, and the seat designs and cabin layouts are exactly as envisioned.

Unfortunately, the website is only in Chinese as of now, although it is fairly simple to navigate the different sections featuring specifications and highlights of each cabin. In addition, an overview video of the entire aircraft has been posted, which I've included here:

Besides verifying much of what we already know about the new design, the only unpleasant surprise I found was the inclusion of 10-across seating in standard economy, which follows an unfortunate industry trend to pack in as many seats as possible into cattle class while generally improving premium offerings.

If American Airlines' brand new 777-300ER is any indication, the economy seats will have 17" width, which is significantly lower than the 18.3" offered by rival EVA Air. In addition, there is still no final word on seat pitch for either economy class or premium economy. EVA Air provides a very generous 33" pitch in economy - something I don't expect to see emulated by China Airlines. The new premium economy seats, however, with a fixed-back forward-reclining design, looks quite comfortable, and could end up being a better overall product.

As I mentioned in my previous post, award availability has already been loaded and appear to be very good in both business and economy using Delta Skymiles. The first long-haul destination will be Los Angeles starting on December 1, 2014. New York will then be added on February 2, 2015. Note that China Airlines has the following blackout dates in 2014 for award redemptions:
  • December 10, 2013 - January 4, 2014
  • January 24, 2014 - February 3, 2014
  • June 1, 2014 - August 31, 2014
  • December 10, 2014 - December 31, 2014

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