Air China upgrades Sydney-Beijing with new 777 business class

By John Walton, November 29 2012
Air China upgrades Sydney-Beijing with new 777 business class

Air China is upgrading the seats on its Sydney-Beijing flight, with new fully flat beds -- and thirty more of them -- on board a larger Boeing 777-300ER plane.

That's a serious business travel boost from the Airbus A330 the airline will be using up until the switch on 11 December.

As you can see from the aircraft's seat map, the fully flat beds are arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration, which is relatively spacious for a Boeing 777 -- Virgin Australia, for example, uses a 2-3-2 layout in its 777 business class.

Air China hasn't released full images of its this business class seat, codenamed "Diamond", with only sneak peeks available.

But Australian Business Traveller understands it to be a twin of the business class pods planned for American Airlines' new transcontinental US services:

The seats are offset slightly from centre, with A and C seats on the left hand side facing towards the windows, D and H seats in the middle angled towards the right, and J and L seats on the right pointing towards the windows.

For the long trek up north, you'll have a 15.4-inch screen playing on-demand entertainment, plus a power point for each seat.

If you -- or your expense account -- are feeling flush, there are also eight spacious and private first class suites in front of business class.

For the very latest news, reviews and top travel tips for business travellers, follow @AusBT on Twitter!

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 125



Air China is using American Airlines regional business class for its longhaul flights!!!

This is supposed to be their new product!!!

American's longhaul biz is the same as cathay form next year

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 667

Yep, we've been reporting on that since it was announced! 

26 Oct 2012

Total posts 7

About the "regional" American business class, isn't that cabin only going to be used on the special JFK-SFO, LAX runs? 

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 667

Yep, and we use "transcontinental" as shorthand for those services.

(We know that Seattle to Miami or Portland to Boston also cross the continent. But for Australians arriving at LAX or, less frequently, SFO, transcon means NYC or maybe DC.)

16 May 2011

Total posts 8

*Using a version of UNITED Airlines (ex CO) business class...

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 667

Hi Ian -- the reason I referred to this with the American Airlines pictures is that American doesn't fly to Australia. United does, using different seats (the forwards-backwards type), and I wanted to avoid any confusion. United's ex-UA 777 config is 2-4-2, whereas this is a much more spacious 2-2-2.

16 May 2011

Total posts 8

All new UA aircraft and preexsiting CO are all fitted with this product (2-2-2)... new AA product wont be online for years 

15 Nov 2012

Total posts 14

They have huge billboards near Sydney Airport saying that they're introducing the "new SKYBED"... Are they allowed to do that?

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