Air China has revealed its all-new business class for its Airbus A350 fleet as the first of the advanced jets took wing from Toulouse to Beijing overnight.
The date was not by accident: a delivery flight on the eighth day of the eighth month reflects the importance of the number eight in Chinese culture, as this is considered to represent prosperity and success.
Travellers will certainly feel that Air China's choice of business class seat reflects those values, with the Star Alliance member rolling out a modern and spacious seat with direct aisle access and a lie-flat bed for every passenger.
And there's good fortune in familiarity, too, with these seats being the same Super Diamond model from B/E Aerospace as seen on airlines such as Virgin Australia, Qatar Airways and American Airlines.
All 32 of these business class seats are located in the same cabin at the front of the A350, with no first class to be seen.
To increase the sense of space in the A350's cabin, Air China has opted to remove the central overhead bins – happily, our experience with other aircraft sharing this design is that the very large side bins combined with the nature of business class passengers to pack light when it comes to carry-on means there will still be plenty of room for everybody to share.
Behind this cabin are 24 premium economy seats arranged in rows of 2-4-2.
This is another step forward for Air China, which has previously made do with regular economy seats set further apart to increase legroom.
The new premium economy seats match a 38-inch pitch with a wider, more comfortable design and an integrated leg-rest (this seat is also from B/E Aerospace and is the same as the new international premium economy seat used by American Airlines).
Nine more A350s will follow this week's inaugural delivery and each will come equipped with inflight Internet, although pricing is yet to be announced.
This first Air China Airbus A350 will begin flying on domestic routes from Beijing, including to Shanghai and Chengdu, and will later be swung over to international destinations.