The five-star airline from Taiwan invented the Premium Economy Class in 1992. On the new Munich-Taipei route, Eva Air no longer offers this. Instead, the Dreamliner 787-9 takes off with 26 Business and 278 Eco seats. We tested it. Here is our report
EVA Air Business Class in a major 11,517-kilometer test. Since November 5, 2022, the Taiwanese boutique airline EVA Air, which belongs to the Evergreen Group, one of Asia’s largest corporations, has been flying non-stop from Munich to Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei with the 787-9 Dreamliner.
From there, the airline, which consistently receives top marks for safety, takes travelers to exciting and attractive Asian tourist destinations such as Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Danang, Bali, Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa, Sapporo, Seoul, Koh Samui, Krabi and Phnom Penh.
Top marks when it comes to safety
As a member of the Star Alliance, Eva Air offers its customers access to a network of 1,300 destinations in over 185 countries. Since 2005, EVA Air has received the IATA Operational Safety Audit with the outstanding result of “no findings”. According to the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Center, Eva Air is one of the 20 safest airlines in the world.
Seating on the Eva Air 787-9
26 seats in Royal Laurel Class, as Eva Air’s business class is called, and 278 seats in Economy Class offer a total of 304 seats on the Boeing 787-9. This is more than its competitor ANA of Japan, one of the first customers for the Boeing 787.
ANA seats 246 passengers, Qatar Airways is also satisfied with 254 passengers (22 business class, 232 economy). Eva Air’s national competitor, China Airlines, will not take delivery of its first Dreamliners until 2025.
Business Class: First Impressions
The cabin of Eva Air Business Class on the 787-9 is extremely high, although overhead bins have been installed in the middle section. These overhead bins are so large that each Eva Air Business Class passenger could easily fit two trolleys.
The Dreamliner’s modern ventilation and air conditioning system provides noticeably better cabin air and, above all, less dry air. According to the manufacturer, it has a humidity level of up to 15 percent, whereas a maximum of five percent is usual and permitted on board other aircraft – except the A350 – to protect against corrosion.
This has a nice side effect: higher humidity makes wine, meat, vegetables and fish taste more aromatic. This should prove to be a real stroke of luck for us.
There is no bleed air from the engines, which eliminates the risk of aerotoxic complaints. As in the A 350, the cabin pressure is the same as at 6,000 feet (1,600 meters), which should prevent fatigue and jet lag. The playful “mood lighting” that makes the stars twinkle in the cabin sky at night is also designed to reduce susceptibility to jet lag. It worked for me!
EVA Air Business Class: How you sit and sleep
The 26 seats in EVA Air Business Class are over 58 centimeters wide, and the entire “compartment” measures a good 75 centimeters from aisle to screen. The seats are more than 1.90 meters apart, and at the touch of a button they convert into a 1.93-meter-long, flat bed.
You can stretch your legs out straight, which is great for long-haul flights, but not available on all airlines. If you sit upright, there is a good 20 centimeters of space between your knees and the bottom of the screen. The massage function is pleasant. The design and pattern of the Thomson Vantage seats were created by Designworks, a BMW Group company.
The 1-2-1 seat arrangement in EVA Air Business Class gives everyone direct access to the aisle.
The storage space
Only some of the seats in EVA Air Business Class offer height-adjustable privacy screens on both sides. However, there are sufficient storage compartments and storage space at all seats. First and foremost is the “locker” with a mirror and hook for headphones and a maximum load of 1.4 kilos. Passports and cell phones can be stowed safely and securely during the flight.
Practical and positive: we are spared the awkward fumbling and searching in Premium Economy of the Boeing 777 on the first flight to Taipei: the seat control, headphone socket and 110-volt and USB ports are clearly visible and easily accessible.
The amenity kit from Salvatore Ferragamo comes in a chic mini suitcase, along with pyjamas and slippers from Jason Wu. As well as a cozy, lightweight blanket and a soft seat cushion for a relaxing night’s sleep.
Feasting in EVA Air Business Class
The wine list is well sorted and includes Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rose 2006 and Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame from 2008 – on all long-haul flights except to and from New York and Paris.
The Ockfen Bockstein Riesling Spätlese 2017 Mosel was very good. If you prefer red wines, go for the Valduero Reserva 2012 or the 2015 Grand Cru Saint-Emilion from Château de Ferrand.
The EVA Air Business Class menu offers a choice between Chinese, Japanese and Western. The Japanese Kaiseki dinner above the clouds was created by Japanese three-star chef Motokazu Nakamura. He is the sixth generation chef of the traditional restaurant “Isshi Souden Nakamura” in Kyoto, which was founded 180 years ago. He has also made it his mission to promote washoku, the original Japanese haute cuisine, worldwide.
The Nakamura menu consists of wonderful, light palate ticklers such as foie gras marinated in rice wine with smoked oyster in sesame oil. Behind the “Zensai” course is a wonderful tofu made from egg and dashi with soy sauce.
“Mukozuke” turns out to be smoked salmon with radish, cucumber and salmon roe. “Hassun” is frogfish with sansho pepper, nigiri maguro with ponzu and abalone with seaweed.
The main course “Dainomono” was an incredibly tender, juicy sea bass with lotus roots and red azuki beans. It was served with mushroom rice and yuzu julienne. The conclusion? OMG! That was the best thing I’ve ever eaten on board an airplane. A glass of the strong, tropical-spicy tasting Kavalan single malt, distilled in Taiwan, made my happiness perfect.
The Show must go on
The EVA Air Business Class in-flight entertainment system offers an 18-inch HD touchscreen monitor (46 cm screen diagonal) and good noise-canceling headphones. The movie selection could be larger in terms of current European and American films as well as Hollywood classics.
EVA Air Economy Class: 2 x 23 kilos free baggage allowance!
EVA Air’s Economy customers travel in Recaro seats. The seat pitch of just under 80 centimetres offers plenty of legroom. 12-inch HD touchscreens. What is unusual and very noteworthy is that Economy Class passengers are allowed to check in two (!) pieces of luggage weighing up to 23 kilograms each. Exciting for golfers, surfers or cyclists on their way to Asia.
Tips for your stopover in Taiwan’s capital. stories from nearby Japan can be found here. Tests of Turkish Airlines’ Business Class, Singapore Airlines’ Business Class and KLM’s new Premium Comfort Class
This article was originally written in German. It was translated into English with the help of Artificial Intelligence