Inside China Airlines' new Boeing 777-300ER

By David Flynn, October 14 2014
Inside China Airlines' new Boeing 777-300ER

Taiwan-based China Airlines has taken the reins of its first long-range Boeing 777-300ER jet, complete with new business class, premium economy and economy seats – but no first class cabin.

Already zipping between Taipei and Hong Kong, the Boeing 777-300ER is the first of 10 destined for the airline, with the remainder to appear on flights to New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco in the United States.

China Airlines' Boeing 777-300ERs will carry 358 passengers split across three cabins – 40 seats in business class, 62 seats in premium economy and 256 seats in economy – with an interior created by award-winning Taiwanese architect Ray Chen.

Chen will also oversee the interior of China Airlines' new Airbus A350s, and has already said that the A350's style will be less staid and more "brisk" than that of the Boeing 777-300ER.

China Airlines Boeing 777-300ER business class

Business class is the biggest upgrade for China Airlines, as the Boeing 777-300ER features fully lie-flat beds instead of the 'sloping sleepers' found on other aircraft in the fleet.

The 40 business class seats are a modified version of B/E Aerospace's Super Diamond model set in a 1-2-1 layout so that every passenger has direct access to the aisle.

Designer Chen says that the texture of the persimmon tree's grain will decorate the cabin walls, with books and Taiwanese tea supplied so that passengers feel like they are sitting in their own study or a teahouse...

... admittedly, a teahouse with LED mood lighting:

Each seat gets a generously-sized 18 inch video screen with a 4.1 inch 'second screen' on the handheld controller, while AC and USB sockets will keep your travel tech charged during the flight.

The cabin will also include a 'quiet zone' – not that business class can get especially rowdy in the first place – with a walk-up bar.

China Airlines Boeing 777-300ER Sky Lounge business class bar

The Sky Lounge is a walk-up bar for business class passengers, taking a leaf from the social playbook of Emirates and Etihad.

It's a self-serve bar, rather than staffed by a mixologist, which also boasts a selection of snacks and books.

China Airlines Boeing 777-300ER premium economy

The 62 premium economy seats look to be a definite cut above their low-cost economy cousins, and are designed with a fixed-back shell into which the seat reclines and slides forward.

In a 2-4-2 layout, the premium economy cabin retains that 'treehouse' feeling, with the theme continuing on the cabin walls and on the cocktail tables.

Each features a leg rest and foot rest, a 12.1" screen, AC and USB power sockets...

... plus what China Airlines claims to be an "iPad-friendly" tray table.

China Airlines Boeing 777-300ER economy

The economy section is kitted out in a 3-4-3 configuration, which puts elbow room at a premium on Boeing 777 aircraft...

... but with selected seats folding out to form a 'Family Couch', the squeeze will be considerably less noticeable:

This is the same design as Air New Zealand's Skycouch, which China Southern has licensed from the Kiwi carrier.

With the footrests and armrests raised the Family Couch's total area measures 140cm long and 64cm wide.

All economy seats use a slimline design from Zodiac Aerospace with a 32 inch pitch and a recline up to 116 degrees, compared to the current 106 degrees. Each passenger gets a 11.1 inch HD video screen.

Also read: Qantas launches codeshare partnership with China Airlines

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 704

Its nice to see the skycouch on another airline but I will wait until i see the prices!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

25 Jul 2013

Total posts 68

I can imagine one day the Chinese carriers having the best cabin products in the world. Though, something tells me that ain't anytime soon!

15 Nov 2012

Total posts 14

Bear in mind this is China Airlines - based in Taipei, Taiwan, not China Southern Airlines, based in Guangzhou, China.

I see China Airlines giving EVA AIR a run for its money. Both will have B77Ws across the pacific. And with Taiwan / USA open skies agreement in place, there will be unlimited traffic rights for all Taiwan/USA airlines!

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543

I'd swear by EVA if I were taking Economy (and not going on the Skycouch...of course)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 445

Ewww 3x4x3 in economy

are these similar to Eva Airway's business seat?

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543

Yup, almost exactly the same (well, this looks a cut above).

04 Jun 2013

Total posts 13

Actually, isn't this more similar to Qatar's new business seating for the 788 and 388 rather than Eva?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Nov 2011

Total posts 122

Its closer to EVA than Qatar as it has the wrap around partition around the seat. There looks to be modifications to the CX/BR seats, with no storage at shoulder level - theres a lamp in place of that, but a cut out at the knee (like CX). There is a recessed storage space in the pics where the remote is though. Some interesting modifications.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1248

Business class looks gorgeous.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 241

Looks good. Like CX business class and GF first, with the bar from VA thrown in for style.

Now if only we could get a MEL to TPE route. That would be a great way to avoid LAX en route to the Big Apple.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1379

Love the teahouse lamp,

The bar is hardly Emirates/ Etihad, more like the Qantas A380 business bar with a few side panels

Seeing the SkyCouch somewhere else is good... I still wonder however whether they will exhibit the same 'sag' as the Qantas SkyBed IIs

06 Jul 2012

Total posts 13

Certainly challenges EVA - question will be if they also serve Dom P? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 213

One has to ask when the 3-4-3 layout became standard on the 777. To my mind the standard layout is 3-3-3. Perhaps the 10 across could be called the EK squeeze after the b@#$/$/s who started the craze.

29 Aug 2014

Total posts 19

It's certainly not standard in our part of the world. Neither CX, SQ, BR or even CZ do it on their 777s. And if you're going TPAC or down under, what EK/EY do their economy passengers is irrelevant.

How nice the J seats is irrelevant, since the conversion rate to Dynasty Flyer is so high. Unless they deep discount the J seats for ex-HKG.

Star Allaince

28 Jun 2014

Total posts 4

At least it will replace the older A340-300! Flown on it from TPE to VIE, it was awful!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Dec 2011

Total posts 95

Doesn't fly out of MEL, pity look good. We use CX, to get to Europe.

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 59

Do we know what the pitch is for the Premium Economy seats?

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Inside China Airlines' new Boeing 777-300ER