Air China has taken delivery of its first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental passenger jumbo.
Star Alliance member Air China becomes the first carrier in Asia to operate the passenger version of the Boeing 747-8.
The new aircraft is the first of seven Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental jets which Air China has on order.
“Air China has been operating 747s since the 1980s,” said Song Zhiyong, president of Air China. “This iconic airplane has played an important role in Air China’s international development and has also witnessed many milestones of the reform and opening-up of China.”
Beijing-based Air China, the flag carrier of the People’s Republic of China, will use the new aircraft to help expand its international network and long-0haul ssrvice frequencies.
The 747-8 Intercontinental brings double-digit-percentage improvements in fuel consumption and emissions over its predecessor, the Boeing 747-400, while generating 30 per cent less noise, according to the manufacturer.
According to Boeing, the 747-8I’s interior, which is inspired by the interior design of the Boeing 787, includes a new curved, up-swept architecture, giving passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings. The 747-8 Intercontinental is powered by GE Aviation GEnx-2B engines.
Boeing’s partnership with Air China dates back to the 1970s. In addition to the 747-8 Intercontinental, Air China also has 15 Boeing 787-9 widebodies on order.
In the past three years Air China has received 20 Boeing 777-300ER widebodies it ordered and the carrier, China’s second-largest after China Southern Airlines, is one of the largest operators in China of the Boeing 737NG family.
Air China has 21 Boeing 737-700s and 96 737-800s in service and has a further 94 Boeing 737-800 aircraft on order.