China Eastern Airlines has taken delivery of the first of 20 Airbus A350-900, its 700th passenger aircraft and the new flagship jet for the Shanghai-based carrier. It will feature an all-new cabin with the carrier’s latest First and Business class offerings.
The new A350 will be the first of 20 for China Eastern, which will accommodate 288 passengers with 40 business, 32 super economy, and 216 economy seats. For business class seating, the jet offers 4 premium and 36 standard seats. Airbus is expected to deliver the orders through 2022.
Among the features include a “Air Living Room” concept for premium business class that features Thompson Vantage's first "super business" products and large personal touchscreens for inflight entertainment. Each seat will feature a large mini-bar, storage lockers, and a more comfortable three-point seatbelt. The seats in the middle can be folded by flight attendants for meetings or family use.
The regular business class seating will feature Thompson Vantage XL all-flat seats, 18-inch high definition displays, and sliding doors that allow for more privacy.
Economy passengers will see Rockwell Collins seats with a 12-inch high definition display. Premium economy will see independent USB and AC charging ports in a cradle-shaped seat
Liu Shaoyong, China Eastern’s Chairman, stated that this aircraft allows China Eastern to “embark on a new phase” and will “open a new chapter in the international development of China Eastern Airlines.”
“China Eastern carries more than 400,000 passengers across the world on a daily basis, and every year takes more than 120 million air travelers to 1,074 destinations in 174 nations and regions. All these safe and sound trips cannot be made without quality aircraft and engines,” Shaoyong said.
China Eastern’s new A350 will make its first commercial flight on December 4 from Shanghai’s Hongquiao Airport to Beijing-Capital. The airline will then deploy on flights to Chengdu and Guangzhou before introducing it on international flights. The international destinations the A350s will see service include Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Vancouver, and Sydney.