This post focuses on the seat products of the China Eastern 777-300ER. To read more on other in-flight amenities and services, along with the new Business Class on the Airbus A330-200, please click HERE.
BY Kai-Chin Shih/ 1 JUNE 2014/ TOKYOJAPAN/ talkairlines.wordpress.com
Many airlines have chosen the Boeing 777-300ER (77W) as the aircraft to debut their newest seating products and liveries. China Eastern Airlines is one of them. The Chinese carrier has just released details and computer renderings of its newest 77W cabin, which will feature 316 seats, including 6 in First Class, 52 in Business, and 258 in Economy. With Wi-Fi service and new products for all three classes, this newest member of the China Eastern fleet will, without doubts, improve the airline’s reputation and competitiveness. The airline is expecting its first 777-300ER to be delivered in September. The new aircraft type will first be deployed domestically then internationally to Los Angeles and New York.
The color choices made for the new 777-300ER interior are great improvements compared to that of current China Eastern jets and other Chinese airliners. They are not as grayish and boring as that of Air China, yet not as plastic and hideous as that of China Southern. The cream colors for First and Business Class are elegant and stylish while the gray color chosen for Economy Class has a hint of warm color, making the seats visually calming and appealing.
China Eastern has chosen to install 6 Zodiac Venus Suites, 43″ wide and 82″ long, in its 777 First Class. With lavish armchairs, slidable doors, and individual storage compartments instead of overhead bins, passengers can enjoy privacy yet have maximum comfort. When reclined 180 degrees, the seat along with the ottoman can combine to form a fully flat bed, allowing passengers to have a comfortable sleep during long haul journeys. A 24″ personal television screen is also featured to provide customers with rich varieties of entertainment.
During in-flight, First Class passengers can help themselves with snacks and drinks from the Mini Bar, located in the first row.
In Business Class, the carrier chose to install the EVA Air-style Zodiac Cirrus suite seats made by JPA Designs. The seats are placed in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration, allowing every passenger to have direct aisle access. The seats give passengers a sense of privacy and can be transformed into fully flat beds. China Eastern’s 777 Business Class will feature 52 seats, the most among all Chinese 77Ws.
The new Business Class is a huge improvement from the carrier’s existing Business Class products. Currently, only some Airbus A330-200 feature lie-flat seats. Yet, the seats are in an out-of-date 2-2-2 configuration and are covered with cloths of visually unappealing colors and overly cultural patterns. The airline’s other planes, including its long haul flagship, the A340-600, feature angle lie-flat seats or even reclined seats. Now, with the new Business Class, the carrier can surely attract more high-end travelers.
In Economy Class, extra thin seats, with seat width of 17 inches and recline of 6 inches, can provide customers with more legroom and comfort. Personal 11″ screens, on the other hand, will allow passengers with AVOD along with many other entertainment options. Regarding personal electronic devices, power outlets and USB ports will be installed on every single seat.
China Eastern has chosen a 3-4-3 configuration for its 777 Economy Class. This will make China Eastern the first North Asian carrier to have 10-abreast seating in its 777. The particular seating has been popular among Middle Eastern, European, and American carriers since years ago. In East Asia, only Philippine Airlines (to be joined by China Eastern, China Airlines (Taiwan), and ANA) followed the trend. Other 777 operators continue to offer 9-abreast Economy Class products.
The new cabin will feature the Boeing Sky Interior, making the cabin more lively and allowing passengers to have a better flying experience. Wi-Fi will also be offered throughout the aircraft, giving flyers the opportunity to stay connected while in the air. It will be interesting to see whether Youtube, Google, and Facebook will be banned on the plane due to the fact that the Chinese government doesn’t allow people within its borders to access the websites.
China Eastern is expecting 4 777-300ER to be delivered in 2014, 5 in 2015, 5 in 2016, 3 in 2017, and 3 in 2018. The new 777 will be a replacement for the airline’s fuel-guzzling A340-600. Currently, China Eastern is at a similar situation as its fellow partner China Airlines. Both airlines are using uneconomical airliners (Boeing 747-400, Airbus A340-300, and Airbus A340-600) to fly long haul routes. The 777 delivery is crucial for the airlines in order to make profits on certain intercontinental routes that haven’t been making money for years. The enhancements of cabin products will also improve both airlines’ profitability in the fiercely competitive trans-pacific market. For China Eastern, the new 777, along with the new brand image/ livery, will help the carrier gain a better reputation, attract more premium travelers, and possibly become a respectful competitor for the Korean and Japanese airlines that have been ‘stealing’ Chinese intercontinental travelers for decades.
EXTRA: China Eastern Boeing 777-300ER Seat Map
China Eastern Boeing 777-300ER Promotional Video