Yesterday, EVA Air took delivery of its very first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. This delivery is the first of 20 787-10s that the carrier plans to use on high-density routes within Asia. The airline already operates a fleet of four 787-9 Dreamliners.
However, this delivery is taking place amidst a backdrop of turbulent events, as the airline’s flight attendants have gone on strike. The strike has resulted in the cancellation of over 670 flights to date.
As part of a Boeing press release, Steve Lin, Chairman of EVA Air made the following comments about his airline’s latest plane:
“The 787 Dreamliner has become the flagship of our fleet and we will leverage the airplane’s unrivaled fuel efficiency, reliability and size to operate high-density markets in Asia…The 787-10 offers around 15 percent more cabin space and cargo capacity compared to our existing 787-9s and this added capability will allow us to explore new opportunities for future growth in the emerging markets within Asia Pacific.”
With a length of 224 feet (68 meters), EVA Air’s 787-10 can serve up to 342 passengers using a two-class configuration. This is 38 more seats than EVA Air’s 787-9 Dreamliner.
Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Boeing Commercial Sales and Marketing made the following statement:
“We are extremely honored that EVA is building their future around the 787 Dreamliner family and I am confident that the passenger-pleasing capabilities of the airplane will contribute immensely to the airline’s reputation as a five star airline.”
Onboard EVA Air’s new 787 Dreamliner is the new Royal Laurel class seats designed by Designworks, a BMW Group company. These new 23-inch-wide seats feature “privacy panels, full lie-flat capabilities as well as enhanced in-flight entertainment systems“.
Meanwhile, EVA Air also has a partnership with Teague to redesign its economy class seats. Teague is a “full-service design and innovation consultancy” that specializes in product, service and experience design solutions. The economy class seats are produced by German seat manufacturer, Recaro.
A Star Alliance member, EVA Air has an extensive international route network with approximately 565 weekly flights.
Here are the routes for the new aircraft, according to website Routes Online. All flights below will depart from Taipei Taoyuan:
- Hangzhou from 5th July, twice weekly (three times a week from 18th July)
- Hong Kong from 28th June once a day (frequency varies from 2nd July)
- Macau one flight on 26th July
- Osaka Kansai from 12th July, eight times a week
- Shenzhen from 15th July once a week (operating for UNI Air)
- Tokyo Narita from 29th July once a day
Current turbulence for EVA Air
Unfortunately, all of this fanfare is happening at an awkward time for Eva Air. According to Taiwan News, the airline has had to cancel over 670 flights due to a strike.
Airline staff are striking over complaints about overtime, long working hours, and pay. One of the major issues was the allowance for flight attendants working in overseas destinations. It has been requested that the allowance be raised from $90TWD ($2.90USD) to $150TWD ($4.85USD) per flight. Additionally, another point of contention are nine round-trip flights which the union sees as causing overwork.
Below is a portion of EVA Air’s official statement:
“EVA is working with other airlines and transferring as many passengers as possible to alternative flights…EVA has made every effort to avoid a strike. In repeated negotiations with the union, we have expressed good will and offered reasonable solutions such as more benefits and improved working condition[s] that have included earlier flights.