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A Glimpse Inside China Airlines’ Deluxe “Lounge in the Sky,” Complete with Tea-Tasting Salon

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China Airlines gave flyers an inside look at its new Boeing 777-300ER, which it says “serves as a platform to showcase Taiwanese culture.”

Taiwan’s largest carrier, China Airlines, took possession of its first of 10 Boeing 777-300ER on October 3 in Everett, Wash., and recently shared glimpses of the aircraft’s interior via Facebook. The airline is configuring the 777-300ERs with 358 seats — 40 in Premium Business Class, 62 in Premium Economy Class and 256 seats in Economy Class — and a first-of-its-kind, high-ceiling Sky Lounge.

The Sky Lounge is located behind the business section, serving passengers cocktails, tapas and noodles. It is flanked by a tea-tasting salon and a coffee area, both serving Taiwanese-grown products. China Airlines’ revamped 777-300ER interior has been lauded as a “lounge in the sky” by the Daily Mail and Yahoo! Travel.

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Designed by Taiwanese architect Ray Chen, with mood lighting and 11th century Song Dynasty ink-wash paintings in the restrooms, the aircraft’s interior even has a well-stocked library among its wood trim. Back in Economy Class, some rows of seats can easily be merged into a sofa for family time.

Premium Business Class passengers enjoy lie-flat 78-inch seats and 18-inch video screens equipped with Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment. The same entertainment system is available to Premium Economy Class passengers on 12.1-inch screens and Economy Class passengers on 11.1-inch screens.

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Premium Economy passengers get 39-inches of legroom and a fixed shellback seat that allows the cushion part of the seat to slide, a feature which prevents reclining seats from interfering with the row behind them. Economy Class seatbacks are slimmer than normal and recline to 120 degrees. The seats capable of merging into sofas, which have been dubbed Asia’s first family couch, are located in a 10-row section within Economy Class.

China Airlines will introduce 10 777-300ERs by the end of 2016, according to Boeing. For now, its first “lounge in the sky” is flying domestic routes within Taiwan. Another 777-300ER is scheduled to arrive in November, and by 2015 both aircraft will be flying routes between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) and Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

[Photos: China Airlines]

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