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 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 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.
Meanwhile business class award space is fairly readily available on most dates.
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.
Does anyone else have the desire to try out Air China’s new 747-8?