China Airlines has just taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo, and it looks like this will represent a great improvement for the SkyTeam carrier’s short haul product.
China Airlines’ Airbus A321neo plans
China Airlines has 25 Airbus A321neos on order, the first of which is about to join the carrier’s fleet. Historically the Boeing 737-800 has been China Airlines’ only narrow body aircraft, and these A321neos will be used to replace these planes.
And indeed, the switch from 737-800s to A321neos will represent quite an improvement for the airline, in terms of passenger and cargo capacity, range, fuel efficiency, and passenger experience. The Taiwan aviation industry is fiercely competitive, with three excellent airlines — China Airlines, EVA Air, and Starlux Airlines. Therefore it’s always exciting to see how airlines in Taiwan are innovating.
China Airlines’ Airbus A321neo cabins & features
China Airlines’ new Airbus A321neos feature 180 seats, including 12 business class seats and 168 economy class seats.
China Airlines A321neo business class
China Airlines’ Airbus A321neos feature 12 business class seats, spread across three rows in a 2-2 configuration. China Airlines is finally introducing fully flat seats on narrow body aircraft, which is exciting.
China Airlines’ business class seats are equipped with adjustable extra-height partitions for privacy. Furthermore, each business class seat has a 15.6″ 4K high-resolution monitor, with picture-in-picture functionality.
China Airlines A321neo economy class
China Airlines’ Airbus A321neos feature 168 economy class seats, spread across 28 rows in a 3-3 configuration. Typically there’s not that much innovation when it comes to the economy class experience on narrow body aircraft. On the plus side, Airbus narrow body aircraft are generally more comfortable than Boeing narrow body aircraft, given the wider cabins, and therefore wider seats.
China Airlines’ economy class seats have 13.3″ 4K high-resolution monitors, with picture-in-picture functionality. On top of that, the seats have some innovative-looking seat pockets, with several pouches and straps for holding items you may want to use during the flight.
China Airlines A321neo Wi-Fi, free texting, and other tech
There are some other cool features on China Airlines’ A321neos. For one, the plane features high-speed Wi-Fi available for purchase, with several plans available, depending on the level of usage you desire. On top of that, there’s free messaging available through seven apps, including Line, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Apple iMessage, WhatsApp, Viber, and Line2.
China Airlines’ A321neos also feature smart link support, whereby passengers can connect to the inflight entertainment system via their personal mobile phone and bluetooth headphones.
China Airlines is taking delivery of its first Airbus A321neo, which represents an exciting new chapter for the carrier’s short haul experience. China Airlines’ A321neos will replace the current Boeing 737-800s, with lots of improvements.
The A321neos feature 180 seats, including fully flat business class seats, televisions at every seat, inflight Wi-Fi with free messaging, and much more. This is a solid product, and competes nicely against Starlux Airlines’ luxurious A321neos.
What do you make of China Airlines’ A321neos?
I wonder if there's ever going to be a market for smaller planes, like the A320neo, to serve smaller markets, like Kaohsiung, Tainan, or Taichung? The A321neo is probably too big for Tainan. It may be the right size for TPE to smaller Japanese cities.
Those look like the latest seats Air France is using on its A330s, about which I’ve heard good things. The cabins looks nice but I think it would have been nice to see China Airlines carry over some of the gorgeous design cues from its widebody fleet.
Any info re Economy Class/Main Cabin row pitch?
@lucky how do you think EVA will respond (now that there's STARLUX and China Airlines)? Now they will be the only taiwanese narrowbody with no flat beds in business and not even IFE/headrests in economy.....
Looks like the current LH (5 Star Skytrax) Business Class with those footwells. Picture could actually be the upper deck on the LH 747. Sad part is LH is offering it on all planes and China Airlines is introducing it on their narrow body planes.
Very glad to see another carrier add bluetooth connectivity with so many passengers now traveling with airpods or the like. Hope this becomes the norm