China Airlines business class just got a lot more comfortable

The airline has fought back with an impressive and industry-leading product.

China Airlines' Premium Business Class cabin is currently being rolled out on the carrier’s brand new 777-300ER fleet. Courtesy China Airlines
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With its slightly older style business class cabin, China Airlines may not have been the first choice of carrier in the past.

However the airline has fought back with an impressive and industry-leading product.

The Premium Business Class cabin is currently being rolled out on the carrier’s new 777-300ER fleet. Officially commencing service from Taipei to Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Frankfurt from next month, it means around the world trips to Asia and the US just got a lot more comfortable.

The airline has already been trialling the new products on its short-haul routes around Asia and it was one of these I managed to hop aboard for.

Because they are only a few months old, the aircraft still have that new plane smell.

The cabin is smart, chic, masculine and earthy. Mood lighting, dark carpets, charcoal grey seats and deep colours flood the cabin, offset by bright and bold wood grain walls and finishes.

The herringbone seats are the same hard product as found on Qantas, Virgin Australia and Qatar Airways and there is good reason for this; these tried and tested “Super Diamond” seats, from B/E Aerospace are some of the most spacious, private and advanced products you can find in the skies. Large TVs, Wi-Fi, all-aisle access and excessive storage make for a relaxing and comfortable long-haul journey.

On this three-hour test flight from Taipei to Hanoi, we were shown everything a long-haul passenger can experience, including the new “Sky Lounge”, a dedicated galley designed as a social space for people to read, relax and enjoy Nespresso and Taiwanese teas and snacks. The food service is also vastly improved, with dedicated at-seat service, a wide selection of beverages, aperitifs and delicious Taiwanese options as well as traditional western-style meals.

On overnight flights to the US, expect a full dinner service, followed by Chinese or western breakfast, as well as being able to dip into the snacks on offer in the Sky Lounge.

The new-look China Airlines is both modern and functional, and showcases how a new seat product can elevate a good carrier to one of the best in the skies.

Q&A

Jonny Clark reveals more about the new business class cabin from China Airlines:

Which routes will the 777-300ER fly?

To start with China Airlines will fly the new 777-300ER on its flights to America, with Los Angeles and New York receiving the aircraft first.

Who designed the experience?

China Airlines has looked inward to design its customer experience, hiring the Taiwanese national Ray Chen to redesign the entire cabin.

What about the lounges?

For those travelling through Taipei, the transfer process couldn’t be less painful. You can be from aircraft to lounge in less than five minutes. The carrier has two lounges, one going through a major transformation to offer greater space, comfort and design, but both still offering a comfortable and quiet haven to wait for your connecting flight, each with their very own noodle bar and buffet-style dining.

How much is it?

Business class flights to Taipei from Dubai start at Dh12,600, connecting with China Southern. However, those wanting to experience return direct flights from Taipei to Los Angeles on the new 777 Premium Business Class must pay around Dh15,000.

Will the rest of the fleet be upgraded?

There are plans to phase out the ageing A340s from their fleet that offer the oldest business class product, and the rest of the cabins will be refreshed to match the product on offer in the new 777 fleet.

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