Air China’s B747-8 Intercontinental Starts Serving San Francisco-Beijing Route May 1

—China’s exclusive national carrier upgrades its daily nonstop SFO-PEK service to the iconic B747-8i—

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Air China’s B747-8i makes its U.S. West Coast debut in San Francisco today, replacing the new-generation B777-300ER used for the daily nonstop service between the City by the Bay and China’s capital, Beijing. A reception at the airport museum to celebrate the arrival of the inaugural flight of Air China’s B747-8i into San Francisco International Airport at 12:20 PM PDT today is hosted by the airline’s San Francisco team led by Ms. Litao Zhao, General Manager.

Joining Ms. Zhao are Consul General Luo Linquan of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco; Dr. Zhihang Chi, Air China’s Vice President for North America; and Mr. Ivar Satero, Chief Operating Officer of the San Francisco International Airport.

“Upgrading our San Francisco (SFO)-Beijing (PEK) aircraft to the bigger, more fuel-efficient and environment-friendly B747-8i is a vote of confidence from our Beijing headquarters. We’re confident we are more than able to meet the growing demand for business and leisure travels between these two fabulous cities,” Dr. Chi said.

The B747-8i is the first and only aircraft in Air China’s fleet with a four-cabin configuration. It features 12 luxury suites in the Forbidden Pavilion (first class cabin), 54 fully-flat bed seats in the Capital Pavilion (business class), 66 premium economy seats and 233 in the economy cabin for a total of 365 seats.

The 180-degree fully-flat sleepers in the Capital Pavilion are split between the main deck and the entire upper deck, giving Air China’s guests an exclusive private space. Majority of the lie-flat bed seats are arranged in a staggered 2-2 configuration.

Seats in premium economy and economy cabins offer more legroom for maximum comfort. An enhanced entertainment system offers a wide array of user-friendly features, including mobile app icons and a sliding touch control.

Premium economy seats offer eight inches more legroom (40 inches) than economy seats. In addition to priority boarding, premium economy passengers are offered a welcome drink, hot towels, slippers and many other inflight amenities for more convenience.

More important, Air China is making it easy to upgrade to premium economy through its impossible-to-beat promotion that is valid throughout 2015. For only US$150 each way, passengers can upgrade to premium economy for San Francisco-Beijing (CA 986), Beijing-San Francisco (CA 985), New York-Beijing (CA 982) and Beijing-New York (CA 981). Upgrade must be done 30 days before departure and all ticketing must be made through Air China’s North America Customer Center at 800-882-8122 or Air China’s local offices.

Air China’s B747-8i is also the first to sport the company’s new cabin interior which depicts three traditional Chinese cultural elements that represent the harmonious unity of heaven, earth and sky.

Below is the schedule for Air China’s service between San Francisco and Beijing on board the B747-8i.

Flight #       Origin-Destination       Departure*       Arrival*       Frequency
CA 986       San Francisco-Beijing       2:50 PM       5:55 PM+1**       Daily
CA 985       Beijing-San Francisco       3:40 PM       12:20 PM       Daily

*All times are local. The schedule above is for reference only and may be subject to change.
**+1 means next day

About Air China

As the exclusive national carrier of China, Air China is the only airline with the privilege of having the flag of China painted on the fuselage of its fleet. In addition to its commercial operations, it also provides special flight services for China’s senior government officials on state visits to other countries.

Its 323 passenger routes reach 162 cities in 32 countries. It holds the controlling shares in Air Macau, Shenzhen Airlines, Shandong Airlines, Dalian Airlines, Tibet Airlines, Beijing Airlines and Air China Inner Mongolia Limited. Next to the Swire Group, Air China is the second largest stakeholder of Cathay Pacific Airways.

It is also one of the top three most recognized Chinese brands in the USA, according to a recent research study by Millward Brown.

For more information, please visit or call 800-882-8122 for reservations.


Air China
Lillibeth Bishop, 310-744-8231


Air China
Lillibeth Bishop, 310-744-8231