Aviation News

January 9, 2015

PHOTOS: Air China’s 747-8i Lands at John F. Kennedy International Airport

On Wednesday, January 7th 2015, Air China launched 747-8i flights to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Flight 981 switched to the 747-8i from the extremely popular 777-300ER. Air China had last operated Flight 981 with a 747 on March 30, 2013, using a -400 model. With this flight, the airline became the second to fly the 747-8i to JFK, following Lufthansa’s seasonal switch from a 747-400 last summer. Air China and Lufthansa are currently the only airlines to operate the passenger version of Boeing’s latest 747 model, which has been troubled by low sales.

Thrust reversers kicking up the snow. Photo courtesy Senga Butts

Thrust reversers kicking up the snow. Photo courtesy Senga Butts

The 747-8i (the ‘i’ stands for intercontinental) marks the first aircraft type in Air China’s fleet to operate with a 4-cabin interior. Somewhat unconventionally for a 747 with first class seats, the nose houses 24 business class seats, with another 30 located on the upper deck. First class is found behind the business class cabin, where there are 12 suites. Both premium cabins feature full lie-flat seating. Over the wing, there are 66 premium economy seats, with 233 standard economy seats behind the wing. The 747-8i is the first aircraft type to sport the airline’s new cabin interior, depicting the three traditional Chinese cultural elements of heaven, earth, and sky.

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Air China will operate the 747-8i daily on Flight 981 to New York and Flight 982 to Beijing. The airline will continue to serve JFK with 777-300ERs as well, using those aircraft for Flight 989/990, which operates 3 days a week during the winter months. With the switch from a 777-300ER to a 747-8i, Air China bucked a growing trend of 777s replacing 747s on routes around the world. The airline also announced yesterday that San Francisco will be the next North American destination for the 747-8i. Those flights begin on May 1st.

Photo courtesy Jason Rabinowitz.

Photo courtesy Jason Rabinowitz.

Photo courtesy Jason Rabinowitz.

Photo courtesy Jason Rabinowitz.

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Ben Granucci, Standards Editor, is an aviation enthusiast and plane spotter based in New York City. Growing up in Connecticut, he has had his eyes toward the sky for as long as he can remember. He can be reached on Twitter at @BLGranucci or through his blog at Landing-Lights.com.



About the Author

Ben Granucci
Ben Granucci, Senior Editor, is an aviation enthusiast and plane spotter based in New York City. Growing up in Connecticut, he has had his eyes toward the sky for as long as he can remember. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.




 
 

 

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  • Daveabbey

    Nice pics and article BLG and JR. Sunny day.