- Chinese flag-carrier will take delivery of 15 new Airbus A350s from 2022
- The jets will launch a new business class suite from Recaro, the CL6720
- Each of the staggered business class seats includes an on-trend sliding privacy door
Chinese flag-carrier and Star Alliance member Air China intends to double the size of its Airbus A350-900 fleet over the coming years, with a second wave of deliveries starting in the second quarter of 2022 taking the tally to 30 of the fuel-efficient and passenger-friendly jets.
Although the Beijing-based airline held rights to swap some of those orders to the longer-range A350-1000, it will keep the -900s flowing to standardise its fleet.
But the factory-fresh A350s will arrive with a very different business class seat to their predecessors, in the shape of the new Recaro CL6720 business class seat – for which Air China is the worldwide launch customer, although more airlines are likely to follow in short order.
The all-new Air China A350 business class suite features high walls to help shroud passengers with a cocoon-like sense of privacy, although the airline hasn't chosen opted for the sliding privacy doors which are becoming very much on-trend for the latest premium cabins.
All the same, they'll offer a generous amount of personal 'living space' on Air China's busiest routes – and yes, they fold down into a fully lie-flat bed – as if you needed to ask.
Recaro says the CL6720's lightweight structure will help airlines save thousands of dollars in fuel costs while also reducing their carbon footprint.
Air China will customise the seat from Recaro's platform design with sharp focus on "a huge comfort enhancement and functional optimisation designs" according to Recaro, whose previous CL6710 version appears on China Southern's Airbus A350s as well as the Airbus A330s of TAP Portugal and Azul, and El Al's Boeing 787 Dreamliners (below).
Other traits of the CL6720 'mini-suite' include ambient LED lighting, a 1.98m (78") bed lined with "premium foam technology", a six-way adjustable headrest and refined seat adjustment mechanisms designed to be smooth and seamless at every point.
Air China's first 15 A350s, which began flying in 2018, typically cover a number of premium high-traffic domestic routes within mainland China as well as international flights to the likes of London, Milan, Frankfurt and Munich.