Air China 747-8 Flights To Frankfurt As Of 2015

A few days ago I wrote about Air China being the next airline to take delivery of the passenger version of the Boeing 747-8, which is one of my favorite planes in the sky.

Air-China-7478
Air China 747-8

As is the norm when an airline first takes delivery of a new plane, they’ll initially be flying it on domestic routes as a way of familiarizing crews with the aircraft, before commencing longhaul operations early next year. In the case of Air China, they’ll be flying the 747-8 between Beijing and Guangzhou as of October 11, 2014.

Just today, Air China has announced their first longhaul 747-8 route. I predicted it would be between Beijing and Los Angeles — I was wrong. It looks like Air China will first be flying the 747-8 between Beijing and Frankfurt.

Via airlineroute.net: Air China will fly a Boeing 747-8 daily between Beijing and Frankfurt as of January 2, 2015. Presently Air China operates two frequencies between Beijing and Frankfurt — one daily, and one five times weekly, as follows:

CA965 Beijing to Frankfurt departing 2:00AM arriving 5:10AM [5x weekly]
CA931 Beijing to Frankfurt departing 1:55PM arriving 5:15PM [daily]

CA966 Frankfurt to Beijing departing 2:05PM arriving 6:15AM (+1 day) [5x weekly]
CA932 Frankfurt to Beijing departing 7:15PM arriving 11:45AM (+1 day) [daily]

The second frequency, CA931/932, will be operated by the Boeing 747-8, while the other frequency will continue to be operated by the Boeing 777-300ER. Interestingly Lufthansa’s daily flight between Beijing and Frankfurt is also operated by a 747-8 in the winter, making this the only route with twice daily 747-8 service.

I’m keen to try the Air China 747-8 — I’ve never flown Air China first class and am keen to see what their new cabins look like — though it looks like there’s not much award space in first class on the route.

Air-China-First-Class
Air China 777-300ER first class — will Air China use the same product on the 747-8?

Virtually every day has first class award space on the other Air China frequency to Frankfurt, but there’s very little space on the CA931/932 frequency.

Air-China-Award-Space-1

Meanwhile business class award space is fairly readily available on most dates.

Air-China-Award-Space-2

If you are flexible and look far in advance there are definitely some dates with award space on the 747-8 frequency, so it’s not impossible.

Air-China-Award-Space-3

Does anyone else have the desire to try out Air China’s new 747-8?

Comments

  1. I believe the seat map has also been leaked, and it looks very similar to the old 747-400 configuration, the only difference being a longer upper deck and Y cabin. The first class is still in the center of the fuselage, versus the standard configuration of having it in the nose. It’s the best configuration for passenger comfort, but having every Y passenger pass you on their way to their seat seems like a pain. It’s odd, because that configuration makes it so that a Y passenger doesn’t have to pass the J cabin to get to Y. Maybe it’s some sort of communist austerity thing. Dunno. (the map is sourced from this tweet: http://twitter.com/flight_report/status/516893016746098688)

  2. Air China’s first class is probably the worst of the transpacific airlines! I have flown LAX-PEK in F on one of their (albeit older) 747s. The hard product is mediocre and their food and service are worse than United’s. (Yes, even United’s Global First on the old 747s from SFO-HKG has better food and service, and a comparably outdated hard product.)

    I expect that their 747-8’s will have a much better hard product. Food and service will probably still be unmemorable.

  3. about the only thing to look forward to is the hard product and a ride on the new 747 but the service is so bad, that I would rather have airplane amnesia.

  4. @Neal …you can’t claim to be a real source of information if all you have is the 747 experience. The 777 experience is a completely different/better product and that includes the crew. The 747-8 will mimic the new first which is featured on the 777.

  5. @Neal….I flew first class from pek to lax on 777. Nice seat. Not the best food or entertainment, Which I really didn’t need since the lead flight attendant entertained me the whole time. Maybe people’ll get much better service if they can carry on a conversation in Chinese.

  6. I flew PEK-LAX in the 777 in F, and the seat was great. The food and wine was mediocre. I had Peking Duck, which sounds better than the meals others have had. They did not have some of the better wines on the list. Not only was the seat great, but the service was fantastic. I was the only one in the cabin, had two bathrooms to myself, and didn’t see another passenger from the time I boarded until the time I left the plane.

  7. @RDP

    unless Air China allows Y passengers to board using door 1, no Y passengers will walk past any of the premium cabins. If they make J passengers board solely through door 1, not even J passengers will walk through the F cabin, thus making the F cabin pretty private.

  8. @Valerie – “…carry on a conversation in Chinese.” I’ll be flying them in December lucky for me enough time to learn a few words of “Chinese.” Jesus

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