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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Lie-Flat Narrowbody Comfort: China Airlines Reveals A321neo Cabin

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Taiwan’s China Airlines has become the latest carrier to introduce flatbed business class seats on narrowbody jets. The state-owned national carrier of the Republic of China (Taiwan) said in a statement released today that it had taken delivery of an Airbus A321neo at a ceremony in the northern German city of Hamburg.

China Airlines A321neo
Taiwan’s China Airlines took delivery of its first Airbus A321neo today in Hamburg. Photo: Airbus

The aircraft is the first of 25 new Airbus A321neos with upgrades that include a premium business class with fully lay-flat seats. China Airlines says it intends to use the new A321neos to replace its 18 Boeing 737-800s as its regional workhorse. Doing this will level the playing field with fellow Taiwanese carriers Eva Air and startup Starlux Airlines, both of whom operate the A321.

China Airlines A321neos have 12 lie-flat seats in business class

China Airlines Airbus A321neos are configured in two classes with 12 seats in business class and 168 in economy class for a total of 180 seats. When speaking in its statement about putting business class seats on a narrowbody plane China Airlines said:

“Each seat is now wider and equipped with adjustable extra-height partitions for privacy and reduced contact with neighboring seats.”

china airlines A321neo business class seat
China Airlines A321neos have 12 business class seats in a 2+2 layout. Photo: China Airlines

In business class, the seats are in a 2+ 2 layout, which means passengers in the window seat will need to step over the person occupying the aisle seat. As for the economy class seats they are arranged in a standard 3+3 configuration.

The Airbus A321neo also features the latest in-flight entertainment system that offers a large 15.6 inch HD screen in business class and a 13.3-inch screen in economy. Passengers can access and control the entertainment system on their smartphone, sending the audio to wireless headphones or earbuds by Bluetooth.

China Airlines offers free text messaging

Regarding the hi-speed WiFi, China Airlines says that passengers can pay by credit card or by using frequent flyer miles. If you don’t want to surf the web or catch up on your latest shows you can still get in touch with family and friends by using free text messaging. The seven supported apps available are:

  • Line
  • WeChat
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Apple iMessage
  • WhatsApp
  • Vibe
  • Line2
All the business class seats have 15.6 inch HD screens. Photo: China Airlines

Innovations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic include a high-efficiency HEPA air filtration system that changes the air in the cabin every two to three minutes. Another COVID-19 safety feature, China Airlines has introduced is contact-less sensor-activated taps to limit the risk of cross-infection.

The Airbus A321neos will add cargo capacity

Given the current situation where airlines depend more and more on cargo flights for revenue, China Airlines says that the new Airbus A321neos will provide up to 20% more cargo capacity.
The airbus A321neos fuel efficiency is also 15 to 20% better than that of previous generations of single-aisle jet aircraft, and that noise and emissions have been reduced by up to 75% and 50%, respectively.

China Airlines A321neos are fitted with 168 economy class seats. Photo: China Airlines

As a part of China Airlines commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, all the new Airbus A321neos will be ferried from the assembly plant in Hamburg to Taipei using sustainable aviation fuel.

What do you think of lie-flat seats on narrowbody jets? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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