Covering a story for AirlineReporter can be a dangerous business. Originally we had our Lee Zerrilla heading to the reveal of China Eastern’s first Boeing 777-300ER, when BAM he got in a minor accident. Lee is okay, but sad he was not able to make it to the event.
Although, the photos end up showing what, I think, is a pretty ugly livery, it is what is on the inside that counts with this bird.
This is not the first time we have seen China Eastern’s new livery on the 777. We saw it when it came out of the paint booth and I have to say that I wasn’t a fan. Heck, I might have even called it the worst livery ever. Maybe a tad bit harsh, but I am just not a fan of these bland designs.
Some wondered if this was a temporary livery, but no, this is China Eastern’s new official livery.
The new logo on the tail is not so bad. It is a swallow consisting of the letters C and E, which represents the airline’s name. Sure, that is fine and dandy, but why so boring for the rest of the aircraft?
The airline was more excited to show off the new interior of the aircraft, which is probably the part that most passengers will care most about.
Each of the new 777-300ERs will have a three-cabin layout: first, business, and economy. The first row in first class is in a 1-1 configuration, while the second row, located behind a bar area, is in a 1-2-1 layout.
The middle seats in the 1-2-1 set up can combine to create one large suite with enough room for… well… use your imagination (mostly just allows passengers to get a good night’s sleep).
The suites feature 80 inches of seat pitch and their own sliding doors, creating your own world within the aircraft.
The business class section has 52 seats and is in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving every passenger the much desired aisle access. The seats lie flat with 46″ of pitch and the expected large screens and power ports for charging.
For those sitting in the back of the plane, they will find the economy section configured with 10 seats abreast in a 3-4-3 layout with a range of 32-33″ of seat pitch. Each passenger gets their own on-demand eX3 entertainment system which is leaps and bounds better than the old-school, ceiling-mounted IFE system found in their Airbus A340-600s.
Of course the airline was excited to take delivery of the first of 20 777s that they have on order.
“We are delighted to introduce our first 777-300ER in China Eastern’s new look in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the 777-300ER program,” said Liu Shaoyong, Chairman of China Eastern Airlines. “The delivery not only marks a milestone in the long-standing business relationship between China Eastern and Boeing, but also signals the modernization of our world-class fleet and the enhancement of the competitiveness of our trans-Pacific routes.”
China Eastern plans to use the 777s to add new cities in North America and increase frequencies to some of the cities they currently serve, like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Toronto.
The new aircraft will start service in November from Shanghai to LAX (the airline uses the A330-200 currently) and JFK (the airline uses the A340-600 currently).
“We are honored to play an integral role in China Eastern’s growing success as a leading global airline,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 777-300ER is a perfect fit for China Eastern’s long-haul fleet and we are pleased to celebrate this milestone delivery together.”
Let’s just hope someday they make a change to that livery.