EVA Upgrades

The Taiwan airline invests to maintain its appeal

By: Marissa Tinloy

In an effort to maintain consistent service quality throughout its fleet, the Taiwanese airline EVA is investing $36 million towards the refreshing and upgrading of three of its youngest Boeing 747-400s and, simultaneously, retiring its last Super First Class cabin as of Dec. 1.

These upgrades, which include both soft and hardware on the aircraft, give the B747-400s the same comforts and amenities as the airline’s new B777-30ERs, which are set to become the backbone of the carrier’s long-haul fleet.

Following the renovations, the refurbished B747-400s will be configured to carry 372 passengers, seating 36 in Premium Laurel Class, 56 in Elite and 280 in Economy. Additionally, EVA has imported Taiwan’s first wallpaper-pasting machine from the United Kingdom, making them Taiwan’s first carrier to have the technology and capability to renovate entire aircraft cabins.

EVA’s introduction of the new cabins began in 2003 with the first Airbus 330-200s and gained full prominence in 2005 with the advanced Boeing 777-300ERs. In June 2007, Evergreen Aviation Technologies (EGAT) retrofitted the first of the B747-400s, and EVA deployed it on U.S. routes. The second aircraft, which will deployed on the Taipei-London route, is expected to be complete this month, and the third, running from Taipei-Vancouver, will be refurbished by December.

The renovations of these B747-400s will provide every passenger with the latest ergonomically designed seats, an AVOD (Audio/Video on Demand) system that includes e-mail and mobile phone messaging to people on the ground, hot meals and other comfortable amenities. Additionally, passengers in Premium Laurel class can enjoy the luxuries of traditional first class, such as lie-flat seats and an espresso machine, and passengers in Elite class have roomier seats and cabins.