China Airlines intends to deploy the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the Taipei Taoyuan-Los Angeles route when it begins to take delivery of them later this year.
According to airlineroute.net, the B777 will replace the incumbent B747-400 that the carrier currently deploys on the route. The move by China Airlines seems to indicate that it is following the industry trend to phase out the “Queen of the Skies”.
Major airlines such as Singapore Airlines (see story), Japan Airlines (see story) and All-Nippon Airways (see story) have retired all of the B747s from their fleets due to their relatively low fuel efficiency compared to newer aircraft models. Others such as Cathay Pacific and China Airlines’ Skyteam partner Air France will phase out their 747s over the next few years.
While taking B747 off the route is good for the airline's bottom line, it will also mean a major reduction in capacity. Perhaps the most significant change to passenger experience will be the removal of first class. While the 747 features a three-class configuration (first, business, economy), the 777-300ER will only offer business and economy products.
In addition, the numbers of seats in both business and economy cabins on B777 are smaller than those on B747. The former offers 40 seats in business, and 318 in economy, so the aircraft replacement will represent a loss of 12 seats in first class, nine in business, and one in economy.
China Airlines has updated its website to reflect the change. Flights between Taipei Taoyuan and Los Angeles from December 2014 onwards now feature the B777 as the operating aircraft. Bookings can be made with immediate effect.
For more information, visit www.china-airlines.com