Air China is now the proud owner of a Boeing 747-8 – the first airline in Asia to operate the passenger version of the new-generation jumbo.
CA1315 from Beijing to Guangzhou on October 11 2014 will be Air China's first Boeing 747-8 passenger flight, giving travellers a chance to hitch a ride on the new bird before it enters international service.
That's happening on January 2 2015 when the aircraft goes daily Air China's CA931/932 flights from Beijing to Frankfurt.
The new Boeing 747-8 is the first of seven for the airline, which Boeing says will enable Air China to expand its international routes.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner said: "The 747-8 Intercontinental will deliver improved operating economics, efficiency and environmental performance in support of Air China's growing long-haul fleet.”
The Boeing 747-8 will bring double-digit improvements in fuel consumption and emissions over its predecessor, the 747-400, while generating 30 percent less noise.
The airplane's interior, inspired by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, includes a new curved, upswept architecture giving passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings.
Air China's Beijing-Guangzhou Boeing 747-8 flights are now on sale via the Air China website:
While the site hasn't yet been updated to reflect the aircraft swap on flights to Frankfurt, the airline Global Distribution System (GDS) now shows the Boeing 747 on CA's Frankfurt flights:
Air China codeshare partner and Star Alliance member Lufthansa also flies between Beijing and Frankfurt using a mix of Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8 aircraft.
In addition to the Boeing 747-8, Air China also has 15 Boeing 787-9s on order, has received 20 Boeing 777-300ERs in the last three years and is one of the largest Boeing 737 operators in China.