Air China Finally Has a Plane With 1-2-1 Business Class

Aug 8, 2018

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Many frequent travelers seem to have a bit of a love affair going with the A350.  The latest Airbus jet sports a bundle of passenger-friendly enhancements, in addition to some of the industry’s best airline products, from Qatar’s outstanding Qsuite business class to the new and improved Delta One.

The A350 is now flying with Asiana, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Delta, Ethiopian, Finnair, Iberia, LATAM, Lufthansa, Philippine Airlines, Qatar, Singapore, Thai and Vietnam — and, as of this week, the A350-900 has now made its way to Air China’s fleet as well.

Let’s take a look inside…

Business Class

While Air China offers an uncompetitive 2-2-2 business-class product on its 747-8s and 777-300ERs, it opted to go with a 1-2-1 arrangement on the A350-900, the shorter of the two versions of the plane (the A350-1000 seats roughly 50 more.)

There are a total of 32 business seats, located in one long cabin.

It’s the same B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat you’ll find on American Airlines’ 787 Dreamliners, and select retrofitted 777-200ERs.

Overall, it’s a huge improvement over the old product.

Premium Economy

This is also the first Air China plane to offer a true premium-economy seat.

There are 24 onboard, arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration and spread between three rows.

It looks to be the exact same seat you’ll find on US carriers, including American, Delta and United, though the finish is slightly different, of course.

Like with its US-based counterparts, Air China’s premium-economy seat offers extra recline, in addition to a fold-out leg rest.

Economy Cabin

Just behind that small premium cabin, you’ll find two cabins of economy.

There are a total of 256 seats here, arranged in the standard 3-3-3.

How to Fly Air China’s A350

Air China’s first A350 is expected to enter service next Tuesday, August 14, though the carrier has only confirmed a few domestic routes for now. Initially, the A350s will fly daily from Beijing (PEK) to Chengdu (CTU) beginning August 15, and to Guangzhou (CAN) and Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) beginning September 3.

Fares between Beijing and Shanghai are most affordable, at $191 one-way for economy and premium economy, or $698 for business class. You can also save a bit by booking through CTrip — economy drops to $147 each way, while you’ll pay $626 for biz.

Award availability is decent as well — booked through United MileagePlus, one-way awards start at 8,000 miles in economy or 22,500 in business class.

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