China’s Diverse Low-Cost Carrier: Lucky Air’s Present Fleet

Chinese low-cost carrier Lucky Air came into existence in July 2004. In the 17 and a half years that have followed, it has established a diverse fleet of more than 50 aircraft. This features jetliners from both Airbus and Boeing, with widebodies even playing a limited role.

The Airbus A330-300 is Lucky Air’s largest aircraft type. Photo: Getty Images

The Airbus A320 series

According to data from ch-aviation.com, there are presently 52 aircraft in Lucky Air’s fleet. When it comes to narrowbody aircraft, the Kunming-based budget airline flies designs from both the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families. Of the former of these, it has seven examples of the standard A320ceo (‘Current Engine Option’) at its disposal, of which six are active.

Historically speaking, Lucky Air has also operated an eighth A320, as well as three short-fuselage A319s. Being an LCC, it is unsurprising to see that the airline has configured its A320s with a one-class, all-economy seating layout. This accommodates 174 passengers.

Lucky Air also flies six examples of the newer Airbus A320neo, whose suffix stands for ‘New Engine Option.’ Five of these were active at the time of writing, and they feature a denser seating setup with space for 186 passengers. They are three years old on average.

Lucky Air Airbus A320neo
Lucky Air’s A320neos have 12 more seats (two more rows) than their older counterparts. Photo: Airbus

Over half of the fleet: the Boeing 737 family

The most common aircraft family in Lucky Air’s current fleet is Boeing’s popular 737 series. The airline flies 34 of these in total, representing 65% of its 52 aircraft. Of these, the most numerous variant is the 737-800, of which it flies 21 examples. These are 7.1 years old on average, and typically accommodate 189 passengers in a standard all-economy layout.

The 737-700 also has a presence at Lucky Air, with 10 examples of this variant at its disposal. Of these, eight were active at the time of writing, with the other two stored in Kunming. Historically, Lucky Air has also flown a further 11 examples of the 737-700. Some have 120 economy and eight business class seats, while others have a one-class 136-seat setup.

To date, Lucky Air has also taken delivery of three examples of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, and a fourth remains on order. Each of these next-generation twinjets seats 162 economy and eight business class passengers. However, they are all presently inactive, as China is yet to unground the MAX, despite Boeing having made test flights there in August 2021.

Lucky Air Boeing 737 Getty
The Boeing 737 family accounts for 65% of Lucky Air’s present fleet. Photo: Getty Images

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Lucky Air’s widebody Airbus A330s

Widebody aircraft also play a small but important role at Lucky Air. The carrier presently has five examples of the Airbus A330-300 in its fleet, and, historically speaking, it has flown another two. Of the five A330s, just two were active at the time of writing. Interestingly, the seating configuration of these aircraft is more reminiscent of a full-service carrier.

Indeed, the aircraft’s 24 business class seats are full flatbeds, according to data from ch-aviation. They are laid out in a 1-2-1 setup, whereby each seat offers direct aisle access. The 279 economy class places that make up the remainder of the type’s 303 seats offer 31-32 inches of seat pitch, and are laid out eight-abreast (2-4-2). These certainly seem to be the pick of the aircraft when it comes to flying on the diverse Chinese LCC that is Lucky Air.

What do you make of Lucky Air’s current fleet? Have you ever flown with this airline? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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