Copa launches lie-flat business class on new Boeing 737 MAX jets

Copa launches lie-flat business class on new Boeing 737 MAX jets

Central American airline Copa has rolled out lie-flat seats on its new Boeing 737 MAX jets, making it the latest member in a small but growing clique to fit fully-flat seats into a single-aisle jet.

Copa has signed up for 71 of the next-generation Boeing 737 MAX jets, the first of which takes wing this week from Panama City to popular US destinations such as Miami and San Francisco.

Passengers in the pointy end of what the Star Alliance member is branding as its Dreams premium cabin will be able to set any of the 16 business class seats into a fully lie-flat mode.

Arranged in a 2-2 layout, the new business class seats have an international-grade 60 inch pitch (the same as you'd get on a Qantas Boeing 747) and feature a 16 inch touchscreen plus the now-mandatory AC and USB power outlets, along with added storage space around the seat.

In other words, this is pretty much on-trend for the next wave of Boeing 737 business class seats and could provide some clues as to what we might see when Virgin Australia unveils its much-touted 'Perth product' for Boeing 737 jets making transcontinental flights.

Copa has adopted the same lie-flat business class seat design as seen on Philippine Airlines' new A321neo jets, which now fly between Brisbane and Manila.

FlyDubai has also fitted lie-flat business class seats to its own Boeing 737 MAX  jets, while Singapore Airlines' regional arm SilkAir will get lie-flat business class across its single-aisle Boeing 737 jets from 2020.

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.
 

12 comments

  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    19 Sep, 2018 09:42 am

    And competitor Airbus has A321neos flying from Manila to Sydney (about five days a week, as weekends use the A333s) and Brisbane with Philippine Airlines that have lie flat 2 + 2 in J, as David or Chris have previously featured.

    In time, competition is likely to mean that this becomes pretty much standard for flights above two hours. 

    QF's B738s are ageing with 19 of the B738s (of a fleet of 71) already more than 15.0 years old, and quite a few of those above 16 years. Median fleet age is 10.5 years.

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  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    19 Sep, 2018 09:45 am

    Interesting that Copa went for 16 J seats in the new lie flat configuration.

    I'm guessing that Oz domestic (such as east to west coast) could only support 12. There've been quite a few VA flights when the J cabin (on say MEL - BNE) has been empty or had just a couple of passengers as I walked through it.
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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    19 Sep, 2018 04:48 pm

    I doubt VA will install this type of seat on all of their 737s. It will probably be reserved for the MAX10s which will take over much of the trans-continental flying from the A330s. It is possible that VA may choose to swap more of the MAX8s on order to MAX10s so they can offer these features on other longer services such as MEL-DRW, SYD-DPS etc.

    There is limited value in putting sleeper seats onto the remainder of the fleet as a sleeper seat doesn't offer much over a basic recliner for shorter routes and the sleepers will rob too much space from Y class on the smaller MAX8s.
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  • Jazzop

    Jazzop

    20 Sep, 2018 02:16 pm

    Agree with pretty much everything you said here. I wouldn't be surprised to see more Max10s ordered. If VA are to compete with QFs A330s then they need lie flat where ever they're up against them. Now that QF and NZ are partners across the ditch, VA need to offer lie flat (and a better economy product) to NZ as well.
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    19 Sep, 2018 11:25 am

    Those seats looks suspiciously like united's long haul J seat
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  • W

    W

    19 Sep, 2018 11:32 pm

    Interesting fact that at one time Continental (now merged with United) owned 51% of Copa. At that time Copa's logo and livery were aligned to Continental (and the merged United retained Continental's tail logo on its planes). I believe United still owns a small percentage of Copa and assume there is still cooperation at different levels.
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    20 Sep, 2018 08:32 am

    ah yes I forgot that continental were majority shareholders but I haven't heard anything about it for the past decade and haven't put any thought into it until now
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  • Jason Hamilton

    JKH

    19 Sep, 2018 06:30 pm

    Now if some designer somewhere could come up with lie-flat J/C seats for NB aircraft, but each seat having aisle access without stepping over their neighbour. I guess the only way would be BA-style with alternating forward/rearward facing pairs - mixed opinions.
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  • r1card0

    r1card0

    19 Sep, 2018 06:58 pm

    What about the F seats on the AA 321 transcon fleet?
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  • Ashdogs

    Ashdogs

    20 Sep, 2018 07:43 am

    @JKH: The Thompson Vantage Solo is/will be lay flat with aisle access:


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    JKH

  • AJW

    AJW

    20 Sep, 2018 11:50 am

    Even BA style you need to step over someone to get out from the window.
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  • Jason Hamilton

    JKH

    23 Sep, 2018 07:17 pm

    I’m pretty sure their newest J/C seating to date has aisle access for every pax.
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25 May, 2019 03:25 pm

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