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) to debut their newest seating products and liveries. China Eastern Airlines just became one of them. The Chinese carrier recently released details and computer renderings of its newest 77W cabin. A total of 316 seats will be installed, including 6 in First Class, 52 in Business Class, and 258 in Economy Class. With Wi-Fi service and new products for all three classes, this newest member of the China Eastern fleet will, without doubts, improve the reputation and competitiveness of the airline. The airline is expecting its first 777-300ER to be delivered in September. The new aircraft type will initially be deployed domestically before flying intercontinental routes 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 mundane as that of Air China, yet not as plastic and hideous as that of China Southern. The beige colors for First and Business Class are elegant and stylish while the warm gray chosen for Economy Class make the seats visually calming and appealing.
In First Class, Acumen was in charge of designing the 6 Zodiac UK (Contour) Venus Suites, each 43″ wide and 82″ long. With lavish armchairs, slidable doors, and individual storage compartments instead of overhead bins, passengers can enjoy privacy while having maximum comfort. When fully flat, 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 52 EVA Air-style Zodiac Cirrus seats. This seat count the highest among all Chinese 77Ws. Placed in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration, the seats allow every passenger to have direct aisle access. The seats give passengers a sense of privacy and can be transformed into fully flat beds. Passengers also have a wide variety of entertainment options through their 16″ screens.
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, Zodiac Seats US (Weber) 5751 with a width of 17 inches and recline of 6 inches. Personal 11.1″ screens 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.
Panasonic Avionics is in charge of both in-flight connectivity and entertainment. The eX3 systems are present at every seat while Ku-band eXConnect systems allow passengers to stay connected. USB and A/C power outlets are available in all classes. 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