Hainan Airlines’ A330s Are Getting New Business Class Seats

Filed Under: Hainan

Hainan is generally regarded as the best airline in mainland China, and they’re the only Skytrax 5-star airline in mainland China. I had a pleasant experience when I flew with them early last year, and found the food and service to be great, while the seats were a bit outdated.

Fortunately earlier this year Hainan announced that their new Boeing 787-9s would be getting reverse herringbone seats in business class, which represents a significant upgrade in terms of their onboard experience. They now have several planes flying with the new seats, and I imagine eventually they’ll also retrofit their 787-8s with these seats (though that process hasn’t started yet, as far as I know).

It looks like another part of Hainan’s longhaul fleet is getting a big upgrade. Per a press release (though I had to use Google Translate as it’s not in English, so my apologies if any of the details are wrong), Hainan Airlines will be taking delivery of 11 Airbus A330-300 aircraft over the coming months, which will feature reverse herringbone seats in business class.

The cabin consists of 24 B/E Aerospace Super Diamond business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, so the product looks very similar to what they have on their new 787-9s.

Each seat will have a 15.4″ personal television, and the bed will be almost two meters long. However, there’s no mention of Hainan’s A330s getting wifi. While their new 787-9s have wifi, this isn’t a concept they’ve extended to the rest of their fleet yet.

This looks like a very nice improvement for Hainan, and I can’t wait to fly one of these planes. Hainan has attractive business class fares and is an Alaska Mileage Plan partner, so there’s a great program you can credit those miles to. I’ll need to give them another try with their new business class, just to see how it compares to Xiamen Air (which I also really enjoy).

(Tip of the hat to @Airvuz_Dom)

  1. How do you find out which routes are flying the new business class. I’m flying PEK -> BOS in December and am unsure if the plane has the new seats.

  2. This is really good news. Hainan is not only the best, but the only direct connection BOS-PEK and especially BOS-PVG, and as you said in your review, it’s only tolerable if the seat next to you is free (or occupied by someone you travel with) because of the lack of partition and indeed any kind of privacy. So far, as with you, this has always been the case in my case, and then Hainan beats e.g. Cathay (from HK) hands-down re food, IFE, service and so on (the jammies indicator!).

  3. Not gonna lie, this looks better than Lufthansa’s new one they’ll install in 5 years. More private too.

  4. Hainan is currently flying one of the PEK SZX flights with reverse herringbone seats. the one with herringbone is called 78A, while the rest are called 789

  5. I am a little confused. Half of the pictures showed the Rockwell Collin (B/E aerospace) Super Diamond seat. But half of the pictures showed the Zodiac Aerospace Cirrus Seat. So which is exactly is the business class Hainan Airline choose for their A330 and B787-9.

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