China Southern will begin flying its Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Perth from April 1, and will also boost the number of flights to Melbourne and Brisbane as the airline seeks to carve out a larger slice of the Australian market.
Melbourne will see a double-daily service to China Southern's Guangzhou hub from July 1, up from the current 10 flights a week, while Brisbane steps up to a daily service (current five flights each week) from June 23.
A China Southern spokesperson confirmed the Dreamliner's April debut to Australian Business Traveller, with the advanced jet replacing the current Airbus A330 on the thrice-weekly flights.
The Boeing 787 offers passengers a substantially more enjoyable ride than any other commercial jet thanks to a quieter cabin, ride-smoothing technology, clearer filtered air, higher cabin humidity and lower effective cabin altitude, which also contribute to reducing jetlag when you step off the plane.
Air New Zealand, Scoot and Thai Airways also fly Boeing 787s from Perth to their respective hubs of Auckland, Singapore and Bangkok.
However, China Southern is one of the few airlines in the world to include a first class in its Boeing 787 – albeit with just four seats.
Each is 26 inches (67 cm) wide and at 78 inches when converted into a fully-flat bed, it's just shy of the two metre mark.
Passengers also get a private hand luggage bin, AC and USB power outlets, noise-cancelling headphones and a 17 inch screen built into the far end of the seat's shell.
The jet's 24 business class seats are spread across two cabins of a dozen seats each, in a standard 2-2-2 layout.
There are few surprises here: it's a fully-flat seat, albeit at a slightly shorter 74 inches (188 cm), with 20 inch (51 cm) seat width and an 84 inch (213 cm) pitch.
A 'magazine shelf' and shoe stowage area plus 15 inch video screen and USB port are all part of the deal.
However, China Southern hasn't included an AC power outlet on its list of business class features – we've yet to determine if this is merely an oversight or if indeed laptop power is limited to first class seats.
Stuck at the back of the Dreamliner bus? Make yourself as comfy as you can in the 3-3-3 seating.
At 17.2 inches (44 cm) across, with a seat pitch of 31-33 inches (79-84 cm) and a 6 inch (15 cm) recline, we suggest you pack a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, fire up the 9 inch seatback video screen or dive into a slab of BYO entertainment on your tablet, and count down the hours until you land.
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