Inside China Southern's Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Inside China Southern's Boeing 787 Dreamliner

China Southern's Boeing 787 will make its international debut on routes from Guangzhou to Auckland and London in late October – and for Australian travellers that means the Dreamliner will slot into the airline's Canton Route from Sydney to London, along with China Southern's new Airbus A380 superjumbo.

Read: China Southern's Kangaroo Route combo – Airbus A380 + Boeing 787

So what's in store for passengers on China Southern's Boeing 787?

China Southern's Boeing 787 First Class

For starters, China Southern has the only Boeing 787 with a first class cabin – all other Dreamliners to date put business class at the pointy end of the plane, given the relatively low capacity of the first generation 787-8 variant.

This makes for a three-class configuration with 228 seats from tip to tail.

And there's no denying that first class passengers in China Southern's Boeing 787-8 will feel exclusive – the tiny cabin has but four berths in a 1-2-1 arrangement.

Each is 26 inches (67 cm) wide and at 78 inches when converted into a fully-flat bed, it's just shy of the two metre mark.

Passengers also get a private hand luggage bin, AC and USB power outlets, noise-cancelling headphones and a 17 inch screen built into the far end of the seat's shell.

China Southern's Boeing 787 business class

The 24 business class seats are spread across two cabins of a dozen seats each, in a standard 2-2-2 layout.

There are few surprises here: it's a fully-flat seat, albeit at a slightly shorter 74 inches (188 cm), with 20 inch (51 cm) seat width and an 84 inch (213 cm) pitch.

A 'magazine shelf' and shoe stowage area plus 15 inch video screen and USB port are all part of the deal.

However, China Southern hasn't included an AC power outlet on its list of business class features – we've yet to determine if this is merely an oversight or if indeed laptop power is limited to first class seats.

China Southern's Boeing 787 economy class

Stuck at the back of the Dreamliner bus? Make yourself as comfy as you can in the 3-3-3 seating.

At 17.2 inches (44 cm) across, with a seat pitch of 31-33 inches (79-84 cm) and a 6 inch (15 cm) recline, we suggest you pack a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, fire up the 9 inch seatback video screen or dive into a slab of BYO entertainment on your tablet, and count down the hours until you land.

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • Glynn Gill


    29 Jul, 2013 11:17 am

    Its certainly bland

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  • johnaboxall


    29 Jul, 2013 11:25 am

    Ouch - 17.2" wide in Y. 

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  • Serg


    29 Jul, 2013 01:27 pm

    It is aim of the game - make plane as light as possible to cramp inside as much as possible live cargo. And why exactly I have to be over exited about new planes? I would rather ride old trusty 747 - as least they know everything about it.

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  • Alvin Tse


    10 Oct, 2013 08:53 pm

    Unless you're flying F or J.

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  • KG


    29 Jul, 2013 01:59 pm

    Too bad they have not opted for direct aisle access Business Class seats. If you are travelling alone and are "stuck" near the window it is quite a climb one has to undertake to get out. Seats look similar to the C class seats on Air China's A330, although presumably shorter (as the article mentions this),

    Interesting they have a First class section onboard (also available on A330). This is a smart call as I think there is demand for F from Australia to Europe (via Asia).

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  • Oliver menkens


    29 Jul, 2013 02:47 pm

    it needs to have first class as people from the sydney flight on the a380 will have no where to go. it is a bit silly putting a big plane to sydney that can carry 12 first class passngers or more then only put 4 of them on to europe they did not think this through.

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  • KG


    29 Jul, 2013 02:55 pm

    Not everybody sitting in F on the A380 SYD-CAN will continue to  LHR, so there is no need to cater for all 12 F class passengers on the London route.

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  • Flying Fish


    29 Jul, 2013 04:03 pm

    Arrrggghhh!!  That interior is so bland and looks so cheap...certainly not the kind of place you'd want to spend any great amount of time.

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  • Serg


    29 Jul, 2013 05:05 pm

    Agree - even business looks incredibly bland.

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  • cbillo


    28 Aug, 2013 03:33 pm

    I work for this airline and there is indeed in seat power and usb ports to EVERY SEAT! including J and Y Class. For Business class, it is under the centre consol armrest, on the wall of the seat. You can actually see it in the 4th business class picture just on the wall behind the VOD remote. 

    Although some may say this decor is bland, many like the muted tones. its gentle on the eyes for long haul flight. 

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  • russell_2013


    12 Oct, 2013 12:08 am

    I am due to travel from London to CAN via Dreamliner and SYD to CAN via A380 so will be able to compare. I think that the choice of business class layout was a missed opportunity. I would have far preferred to have direct isle access and not the traditional layout. On the other hand the fare was £2,300 compared to up to £4k for the mainstream competition and I can collect Skymiles albeit at the reduced rate of 75%.

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23 Jul, 2019 09:06 am


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