Air China is introducing the Boeing 777-300ER to its Los Angeles-Beijing route on February 1.
The airline notes that, as the largest long-range, twin-engine jetliner, the Boeing 777-300ER is more fuel-efficient and thus greener in terms of greenhouse-gas emissions than the four-engine Boeing 747-400s it now uses on the route.
“With its numerous performance enhancements in the range and payload capabilities, the B[oeing] 777-300ER is the perfect aircraft for the Los Angeles-Beijing route. The upgrade enhances Air China’s advantage in the highly competitive Los Angeles market,” said Dr. Zhihang Chi, Air China’s vice president & general manager for North America.
On September 1, 2011, Air China doubled the frequency of its flights between Los Angeles and Beijing from daily to twice-daily, the first time in the carrier’s history that Air China had increased capacity by adding an additional daily flight to an international point.
Air China will debut the Boeing 777-300ER between Los Angeles International Airport and Beijing on its night flight, CA 984/CA983. Air China says it is the only airline that provides non-stop service between the two cities.
The airline’s 777-300ER cabins are configured with 8 Forbidden Pavilion first-class luxury suites, 41 fully flat-bed Capital Pavilion business-class seats and 259 economy-class seats. The enhanced entertainment system features monitor screens with screen diameters of 23 inches in first class, 15 inches in business and 9 inches in economy.
Air China’s 777-300ER in-flight entertainment system features audio and video on demand (AVOD) programs and a 3D Airshow. Personal power outlets are available in all three cabins.
Designed to ensure maximum passenger comfort, the interiors of Air China’s 777-300ERs feature 10 mood-lighting variations in the Forbidden and Capital Pavilions, each timed to complement the various phases of a flight from boarding through meal service, sleeping and pre-arrival. The ambient lighting recreates the sunset, night and sunrise to reflect the various services associated with each phase to create a relaxing environment.
The carrier’s Air Over fridge-type galley preserves the freshness of inflight meals, ensuring the food served throughout the duration of the flight tastes fresh. Additionally, wardrobe lockers, central bars, espresso, wine coolers, box for small items are available in premium cabins.
“The current day flight between Los Angeles and Beijing (CA 988/CA 987) will be upgraded to the B777-300ER in June 2012,” said Dr. Chi. “Later this year and in early 2013, our New York and San Francisco routes are expected to be upgraded to the same aircraft as well.”
A member of Star Alliance, Air China is the world’s largest airline by market capitalization, according to IATA. Its network of 289 routes extends throughout Asia to the Middle East, Europe, South and North America from its main hub at Beijing Capital International Airport.
In the first half of 2011, Air China, together with its subsidiaries, carried a total of 33.65 million passengers. Air China has an 80.9 per cent stake in Air Macau, a 29.99 per cent share in Cathay Pacific Airways and controlling shareholdings in Shenzhen Airlines Company and Shandong Airlines.