Over the Christmas / New Year break, Australian Business Traveller will be revisiting some of our most popular articles of 2017. We’re still around to report on any breaking news during this time, otherwise our regular publishing schedule will resume on Monday January 8, 2018.
Is this the next wave of business class for single-aisle jets like the Boeing 737, which are the domestic and short-range workhorse of airlines around the world?
Forget about seats that merely recline: these ones fold down into a fully flat bed that's on par with your best superjumbo-grade business class.
Middle-eastern airline Flydubai takes the medal for putting these seats into the pointy end of its new Boeing 737 MAX jets.
There are ten seats in the business class cabin, ranked in two rows of a 2-2 layout and between those a row of solo 'throne'-style seats.
Based on Thompson Aero's popular Vantage seat and styled by JPA Design – whose most recent work was on Singapore Airlines' new Airbus A380 business class – the clean lines and efficient use of space brings a relative degree of luxe to the otherwise low-cost state-owned airline.
JPA Design raised the curved shell of the seat for an enhanced sense of privacy, added a 15.6 inch touchscreen display for inflight video and surrounded the panel with dark, low-shine materials to minimise glare and optimise the viewing experience.
If nothing else, these premium pews show the degree of 'do-ability' for Virgin Australia's promised Boeing 737 transcontinental business class, which the airline intends to launch in the second half of 2018 as an alternative to its regular Airbus A330 services on east-west routes.