KrisFlyer Star Alliance

EVA Air will fly its new 787s to Amsterdam and Vienna next year

EVA Air has announced its first long-haul European routes with the Boeing 787 to Vienna and Amsterdam, featuring the carrier's latest Business Class seats

BR 789 J (EVA Airways Corporation)

In September this year we covered the launch of Taiwanese carrier EVA Air’s new Business Class seats on its latest 787 aircraft. This product marked a switch from the Star Alliance carrier’s existing ‘reverse herringbone’ format seating, in favour of the all forward-facing Thompson Aero Seating Vantage XL, used by airlines like Qantas.

EVA has been using the aircraft on flights from Taiwan to Hong Kong since the beginning of this month, with Tokyo and Osaka to follow in December. It has just announced the first long-haul services with the type on the Taipei – Bangkok – Vienna and Taipei – Vienna routes from mid-May 2019, with Taipei – Bangkok – Amsterdam following in June 2019.

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EVA’s Boeing 787s

EVA has ordered four Boeing 787-9s, which have the range to fly to Europe, and 20 787-10s, which max out at around 9 to 10 hours flying time and will be used to serve high density regional routes in Asia-Pacific.

The first aircraft was delivered in early October 2018.

BR 789 Delivery (EVA Airways Corporation)
The first EVA Air 787-9 pictured prior to its delivery ceremony in Charleston, USA. (Photo: EVA Airways Corporation)

The configuration of the EVA Air 787-9 is 26 Business Class and 278 in Economy. While the configuration of the carrier’s 787-10 wasn’t known when we published our cabin reveal article in September, we predicted it would be very close to the Singapore Airlines configuration of 36 Business Class and 301 Economy Class seats.

Indeed it has come in almost spot on, at 34J / 308Y.

New Business Class

The big news with the introduction of the EVA Air Boeing 787s is the brand new Business Class product, with a staggered 1-2-1 layout comprising 26 flat-bed seats on the 787-9 and 34 flat-bed seats on the upcoming 787-10.

EVA New 787 Business Cabin Blue
EVA Air Boeing 787 Business Class. (Image: EVA Airways Corporation)

While EVA’s Business Class seats on the carrier’s existing Boeing 777-300ERs already feature a 1-2-1 all aisle access layout, the new product is a departure from the ‘reverse herringbone’ format with these Thompson Vantage XL seats all configured in line with the aircraft fuselage.

BR 77W J (The Shutterwhale).jpg
EVA’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft have a reverse herringbone layout in Business Class. (Photo: The Shutterwhale)

Well above the basic spec for the Thompson Vantage XL seat, EVA Air worked with BMW Designworks (the same company responsible for SIA’s 2013 F cabin) on the customisation, materials and colour scheme.

New 787 Business 2 (BMW AG).jpg
Middle pairs are separated by extended consoles with more storage in the new EVA Air 787 Business Class. (Image: BMW AG)

EVA has included options such as extended consoles with additional storage (between the middle seat pairs and at the aisle-aligned window seats), adjustable privacy panels between the middle seat pairs (and at window seats with the console between the seat and the aisle) and seat number light / do not disturb function.

New 787 Business 3 (BMW AG)
EVA Air Boeing 787-9 Business Class. (Image: BMW AG)

Each seat is 23 in. (58.4 cm) wide and converts to a 76 in. (193 cm) long flat-bed. The seat pitch has not been stated but we understand it to be 44 in. (111.8cm). This enables the airline to install seven rows of window seats and six middle pairs in the forward cabin section of the 787-9, with nine window rows and eight middle pairs in the larger 787-10.

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Seat map

Here is the layout of the EVA Air 787-9 Business Class cabin.

BR 789 J Seat Map (EVA Airways Corporation).jpg
(Image: EVA Airways Corporation)

If you’re looking to secure the most private window seats, where the console is between the seat and the aisle and an additional extendable privacy screen is installed to really shield you from the world, there are only six options for you.

These are 2A/K, 5A/K and 7A/K.

If you’re travelling solo in this cabin, these would definitely be our top recommendations.

New 787 Business 4 (BMW AG)
Notice the additional privacy screen at seat window seat 2K is shown extended here – a top choice in our opinion. (Image: BMW AG)

Otherwise if those seats are taken individual travellers will likely want to go for one of the aisle-aligned window seats 1A/K, 3A/K, 6A/K or 8A/K, while couples will naturally gravitate to any of the middle D/G seat pairs.

Dividers between the D and G middle seats should also provide adequate privacy if you are sitting here when travelling by yourself.

Do note that row 8 is directly ahead of the toilets and a galley area and may therefore suffer from increased noise and foot traffic. It’s probably best to aim for the forward section of this cabin on an overnight flight.

The Boeing 787-10 seat map has not yet been published but is likely to be very similar, with two additional rows.

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Schedules

EVA Air will commence long-haul flights with the Boeing 787-9 aircraft in May 2019. The following flight schedules apply, and also include the shorter sectors of the long-haul journey between Taipei and Bangkok.

Taipei – Bangkok – Taipei

From 9th May 2019 (BR61) / 11th May 2019 (BR62)
From 9th July 2019 (BR75) / 10th July 2019 (BR76)

Flight From / To Aircraft Days
BR75 TPE0830 – BKK1115 789 ·2·4·6·
BR61 TPE2230 – BKK0110* 789 12·4·6·
BR62 BKK1140 – TPE1630 789 1·34·6·
BR76 BKK1510 – TPE2000 789 ··3·5·7

* Next day

Note that several other EVA Air flights operate on the Taipei – Bangkok – Taipei route using different aircraft (including the 777-300ER). For simplicity, only the 787-9 flights are shown here, for those interested in trying the new product.

Bangkok – Vienna – Bangkok

From 10th May 2019

Flight From / To Aircraft Days
BR61 BKK0220 – VIE0835 789 ·23·5·7
BR62 VIE1835 – BKK1000* 789 ·23·5·7

* Next day

Taipei – Vienna – Taipei

From 10th May 2019 (BR65) / 11th May 2019 (BR66)

Flight From / To Aircraft Days
BR65 TPE2330 – VIE0715* 789 ··3·5·7
BR66 VIE1230 – BKK0630* 789 1··4·6·

* Next day

Bangkok – Amsterdam – Bangkok

From 9th July 2019

Flight From / To Aircraft Days
BR75 BKK1230 – AMS1935 789 ·2·4·6·
BR76 AMS2140 – BKK1340* 789 ·2·4·6·

* Next day

Premium Economy

If you’re a fan of EVA Air’s Premium Economy cabin, laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration on the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, it’s bad news with these flights being replaced by the 787-9 as there will be no Premium Economy cabin fitted on these new aircraft.

BR 77W W (EVA Airways Corporation).jpg
EVA Air Premium Economy. (Photo: EVA Airways Corporation)

Indeed if you’re a regular in this cabin between Singapore and Taipei on the 777-300ER you may not keep the opportunity much longer – we see the 787-10 with the same Business Class capacity as the 777-300ER but a larger Economy Class cabin as EVA’s ideal aircraft for this route.

Removing Premium Economy from a route it’s unlikely to be popular on (SIA doesn’t fly this cabin to Taipei), and at the same time introducing an aircraft with lower operating costs, make it a very likely choice sometime next year once the 787-10s start arriving in the EVA fleet.

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Redemption rates

Let’s look first at the ‘cheap’ redemptions on these new 787 flights – the short hop between Bangkok and Taipei, or vice-versa.

EVA Air redemption Bangkok – Taipei
FFP used Economy Business
KFtrans 15,000 37,500
EVtrans 20,000 35,000
MMtrans 20,000 35,000
TKtrans.png 20,000 35,000
UAtrans 20,000 45,000
LMtrans 20,000 36,000

As you can see EVA’s own scheme is the best here in Business Class at 35,000 miles for the three and a half hour flight, matched by Turkish and Lufthansa. Not a great rate for a sector this long. Lifemiles comes in at 36,000 miles followed by KrisFlyer at 37,500 and you certainly don’t want to be wasting 45,000 United MileagePlus miles on this flight in our opinion!

Here are the rates for the longer sectors between Bangkok and either Vienna or Amsterdam.

EVA Air redemption Bangkok – AMS / VIE
FFP used Economy Business
KFtrans 45,000 85,000
EVtrans 52,500 80,000
MMtrans 40,000 67,500
TKtrans.png 30,000 45,000
UAtrans 45,000 100,000