China Eastern Boeing 787 brings business class suites to Melbourne

China Eastern Boeing 787 brings business class suites to Melbourne

China Eastern is upgrading one of its two daily Melbourne-Shanghai flights to a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with business travellers set to enjoy private suites with sliding doors on the 10 hour trek.

The Boeing 787-9 slides into the MU737/MU738 service beginning February 1, 2019 – although the aircraft itself will belong to China Eastern subsidiary Shanghai Airlines.

The Dreamliners are fitted with the same impressive business class seats as the airline's new Airbus A350s: a highly-customised version of Thompson Aero's Vantage XL+ developed by London-based aviation specialist studio Factorydesign.

Each of the 26 business class seats is framed by high walls and a sliding privacy door.

The Vantage XL+ is the same seat adopted by China Eastern partner Delta Air Lines for its latest Delta One suite, which will appear on the Sydney-Los Angeles route from April 2019.

The first row of the Dreamliner's cabin raises the bar with four first class seats built around Thompson's Vantage First concept.

Each of these super-spacious suites boasts its own mini-bar and an upsized 32 inch touchscreen display.

The paired middle seats can double as a social space or ad hoc meeting room for four passengers by opening up an extra-wide table and flipping over each suite's ottoman to reveal a padded, seatbelt-equipped companion bench.

But if you're flying solo, the window seats certainly won't see you slumming it.

It's all a solid boost from the Airbus A330 which China Eastern currently flies between Melbourne and Shanghai. The SkyTeam member's other daily flight on that route – MU739/MU740 – will continue as a Boeing 777-300ER.

Also read: How to book China Eastern flights using your Qantas Points

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • PaulST


    8 Jan, 2019 05:41 pm

    I've literally just changed an award flight from the PVG to SYD via MEL to catch this. It certainly looks better than the seat on the A332. Just to clarify, it'll be a MU flight number but Shanghi Airlines branding?
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  • David Flynn


    8 Jan, 2019 05:42 pm

    That's what China Eastern has told us...

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  • jsf


    9 Jan, 2019 11:41 am

    I believe MU737/MU738 has a code share QF342/QF341
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  • Joe


    8 Jan, 2019 08:06 pm

    Well what do you know Mr Alan Joyce....a real mini first class...that would make the 787/332 business class what then.......? It's a shame the QF product is once again now lagging behind the competition.
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  • moa999


    8 Jan, 2019 09:44 pm

    Ah.. but Qantas doesn't have doors in first class ;-)
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  • Greg Taylor


    10 Jan, 2019 03:02 am

    So how it's called First Class is beyond me. QF product in F is like J on SQ or QATAR
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  • bl812


    9 Jan, 2019 07:01 pm

    yes this certainly puts anything that QF brands as business class!!
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  • featheast


    9 Jan, 2019 12:09 am

    I booked with Air China to Tokyo for the coming Easter period, and this morning I was advised the return leg of PVG - MEL is cancelled (so does the Sydney flight, no more CA direct service between Shanghai and Australia from April).
    I was prepared to be routed to the PEK service then was told by the customer service that they are happy to move us to the MU flight.
    Then I read this article after the full day, and this service will be like heaps better than the old CA 332.
    So looking forward to my lucky cancellation and then rebooking trip :)
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  • Lps988


    9 Jan, 2019 12:13 pm

    Gees not a bad looking product at all!
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  • LikeaGoodLounge


    10 Jan, 2019 08:26 am

    Now, if only MU were a OneWorld airline we could use for RTW tickets ..........
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18 Jul, 2019 11:46 pm


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