China Eastern Airlines has introduced a business class onboard Boeing 737 aircraft. These seats are a huge upgrade over traditional recliner-style seats in premium cabins. However, these seats strike up an interesting question.
China Eastern’s new business class
The Design Air reports that China Eastern introduced a new business class onboard a Boeing 737 aircraft in the days leading up to 2020. The Boeing 737 features two rows of angle-flat seating in a 2-2 configuration.
China Eastern debuts angled flat seats on narrowbody aircraft. B-7591, a Boeing 737-800, is the first to receive the product. Seats manufactured by AVIC Hubei Ali Jiatai. pic.twitter.com/EwcWaMoqbm
— Kai-Chin Shih (@talkairlines) January 4, 2020
As of now, it is unclear which routes will receive these seats, how many Boeing 737s will feature them, and whether or not they will be found on pending and now-grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. While it is good to see an upgrade from recliner-style seating onboard most narrowbody aircraft, this development is… interesting to say the least.
Angle-flat business class seats
Many airlines are ditching angle-flat business class seats. These seats are simply not up to par, even on regional routes. Noted carrier, Singapore Airlines, is even upgrading regional business class on the 787-10. Which is why it is interesting that China Eastern has chosen this seat.
While there are some carriers with lie-flat business class seating onboard narrowbodies, angle-flat is rarer to find. And, there are some efficient lie-flat seats that work well onboard narrowbody aircraft which makes this choice more interesting.
The manufacturer of the seat is a Chinese-based firm. So, perhaps, China Eastern went with this seat due to preferred availability or perhaps discount pricing.
The seatback screens on this new 737 business class
It goes without saying that those inflight screens are tiny. While it is nice to have seatback entertainment on a flight, that screen seems incredibly outdated. As some companies are introducing new OLED displays for planes, China Eastern may have to consider upgrading those screens in the future to remain competitive. Even airlines like Hi Fly are going with larger, crisp inflight entertainment screens.
The good news
China Eastern mainly flies the Boeing 737 on regional routes throughout East Asia. Thankfully, passengers onboard will not have to spend an overnight long-haul in this seat. For only a few hours, this is probably a good compromise between a lie-flat and recliner-style seating.
Airlines take different approaches when it comes to launching new onboard products. Some airlines hype up the product over months and release something stunning. In other cases, like with China Eastern, this catches people by surprise. Choosing angle-flat seats for business class is an interesting choice. It does beg the question, what was the reason for choosing these seats?
Do you like these new seats? Why do you think China Eastern chose these new seats? Let us know in the comments!
Simple Flying reached out to China Eastern for a comment. However, one was not received prior to the publication of this article.