Air China International First Class Cabin Offerings
Air China’s longest offered flight is over 1,700,000 meters long and takes close to 15 hours to complete. This long flight is from China’s capital in Beijing to Johannesburg, South Africa. This flight is operated in partnership with South African Airlines and is offered 3 days a week from Beijing. It is one of the longest single leg flights in the world.
While most President’s or heads of states fly on their own planes like the famous Air Force One which is for the President of the United States or the German Chancellor’s Airbus A340, the President of China has no specific plane. The President of China makes use of one of Air China’s fleets, typically their 747-400. About 3 weeks before a scheduled Presidential flight, an Air China plane is decommissioned and reconfigured with a bed, bathroom and meeting rooms for the President and staff.
Skytrax, the global airline ranking company, downgraded Air China in 2013 from 4 to 3 stars due to the decline of quality and service on Air China. This is most likely due to the incredible growth of domestic travel in mainland China with the growth of the economy and the middle class. Air China can’t keep up with the demand and have inexperienced staff to handle all their new travelers.
Air China Hubs and Routes
Air China’s main hub is Beijing which is the busiest airport in Asia and the second busiest in the world. It handles over 86 million passengers annually. Only Atlanta’s airport in the United States flies more passengers in the world. The newly opened Terminal 3 is the second largest terminal in the world right behind Dubai’s new terminal and is the 6th largest building in the world. Air China uses Comac built planes which is a manufacturer in Shanghai.
Early February is the time of China’s Lunar New Year. During this time 2.9 billion domestic trips are made within China making it the largest movement of people in the world every year. During this unique time, Air China operates 6,000 additional domestic flights to keep up for the incredible demand. It is known as one of the worst travel times in the world. The two-week holiday time causes huge queues at the airport and the train network in China hits its limit.
Air China First Class Cabin Amenities
Amenities on first class Air China seats include noise-cancelling headphones, slippers, a pillow, newspaper and bedding. Each seat comes with its own in-flight entertainment screen and a bag of L’Occitane products. The leg area is very spacious the lower body “cubby” is actually just for your feet.
Air China routes go throughout Asia to the Middle East, Western Europe and North America from its hubs at Beijing Capital International Airport and Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. They are on the few airlines in the world that fly to all six habitable continents.
Air China Popular Flights
Some of their more popular flights are the two daily Beijing to Los Angeles flights that started back in 2012. They also fly Beijing to New York and San Francisco. They added Honolulu in 2014 and Houston four times a week. Another popular destination is to Montreal, Canada.
Air China Fleets
First Class cabins are offered on all Boeing 747-400’s, 747-8’s, 777-300ERs, 747-400M’s and Airbus A340-300’s. They offer swiveling seats and fully flat bed recline. Air China’s latest First Class seats offer sliding doors for privacy.
In 2016, Air China faced controversy and accused of racism when they stated in their inflight magazine that “London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people.” Air China removed the magazines and claimed it was an error made by the editors of the magazine and not representative of the airlines views.
So before you purchase a coach or economy ticket to China, make sure you weigh the benefits and costs associated with first-class travel. The experience is a great way to settle into vacation mode before you arrive in China. If you think you may require assistance before booking, most websites offer this support and have agents ready to answer your questions. It is really important to check the terms and conditions offered by a website prior to purchasing tickets.