Up and coming Taipei carrier, EVA Air, have taken delivery of their first 787 Dreamliner today. Currently on lease from Air Lease Corp. (ALC), it’s the airlines first 787-9 and the first Dreamliner to operate out of Taiwan.
For EVA Air, this is the first of 24 Dreamliners on order for the carrier. Their order, placed back in 2015, included a purchase of 18 787-10s as well as the lease order from ALC for a further four 787-9s and two 787-10s.
To date, this is the largest commercial aircraft purchase to be made in Taiwan. Steve Lin, Chairman of EVA Air, had this to say:
“This milestone delivery marks the beginning of a new era for EVA Air as we continue to revolutionize Taiwan’s dynamic commercial aviation industry. The 787 Dreamliner’s extraordinary efficiency and passenger pleasing cabin features will further elevate EVA Air’s position as a five-star global airline. We are excited to introduce the 787 into our fleet and they will play an integral role in our success going forward.”
The handover took place in a ceremony at Boeing’s North Charleston factory.
Further deliveries of the 787-9 are expected in early 2019, with all deliveries due to conclude by mid-2021.
The anticipated Royal Laurel business class
You may remember we were slightly excited about the proposed Royal Laurel business class seats, designed in partnership with the BMW group’s Designworks. Even economy is looking promising, with Teague designed seats produced by legendary seat makers Recaro.
The EVA Air Dreamliner is fitted with 304 seats in a two class layout. 26 will be in the new Royal Laurel business class, and the rest in economy. At 23 inches wide and fully reclinable to a 76 inch flatbed, Royal Laurel looks to be kicking business class up a notch.
EVA said they have used real wool, leather and custom textiles to add to the luxury feel of their business class cabin, as well as a design colour coded to match the staff uniform. Entertainment is provided by an 18 inch HD touchscreen with complementary noise cancelling headphones, and there’s plenty of room to work, eat and store your belongings too.
Economy’s looking pretty promising as well. The comfort designed headrests in economy adjust up to six inches in six different directions, in a bid to make neck pillows a travel accessory of the past. The in built screens are 12-inch HD touchscreen with USB chargers built in too.
Where can you fly the Eva Air 787?
With the 787 Dreamliner EVA Air could literally fly anywhere. The lightweight construction and extraordinary efficiency lowers operating costs by 20% compared to older craft, and 10% better than competing modern jets. As a result, this bird can fly up to 7,635 nautical miles without refuelling.
So far, all the carrier have said about the EVA Air 787 is that it will enter into service in November this year. Presumably they’re just going to be admiring it on the tarmac until then. As far as the routes for the 787 Dreamliner EVA are keeping pretty closed at this stage.
However, we fully expect to see it running short haul routes between Taipei and Hong Kong or Japan, while the crew brush up their skills and knowledge about the new jet. By the new year, we expect to see it scheduled on a number of long haul routes, almost certainly including Australia.
EVA Air currently operate as part of the Star Alliance group, running 565 weekly flights to international destinations.