China Southern gets its first 777-300ER

EVERETT — The Boeing Co. delivered a 777-300ER to China Southern Airlines, Asia’s largest airline in fleet size and number of passengers carried, according to a news release from Boeing.

In all, the Guangzhou, China-based airline has ordered 10 of the jetliners. It already operates more than 500 passenger and cargo Boeing and Airbus airplanes, according to the company’s website.

The two airplane manufacturing rivals are fighting for market share in Asia, where they expect demand for air travel to boom in the next 20 years.

China Southern plans to use its first new 777-300ER to add a route from Guangzhou to the East Coast in the United States, according to the release.

“The 777-300ER’s long-haul capability is a perfect fit for our network expansion plans as it will enable us serve our existing long-range markets more efficiently and open new routes in the future,” Zhang Zifang, chief operating officer of China Southern Airlines, said in the release. “The 777-300ER will support the development of Guangzhou as our main international hub and will be a vital part of our ‘Canton Route’ services.”

The airline’s new 777-300ER is set up with four seating classes: four first class seats, 34 business class seats, 44 premium-economy seats and 227 economy seats, for a total of 309 seats. Economy-class seats on most China Southern widebody jetliners have 31-inch to 32-inch seat pitch (the spacing of rows), according to SeatGuru.com.

That is typical for the industry. But at 16.7 inches to 17.2 inches, the seats on its Boeing planes are narrow.

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