China Eastern Debuts New Boeing 737 Business Class

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 Boeing 737
China Eastern is launching a new business class on some Boeing 737 aircraft. Photo: N509FZ via Wikimedia Commons

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.

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.

Boeing 737
This is an interesting development for China Eastern’s Boeing 737 fleet. Photo: byeangel via Flickr

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.

Singapore Airline’s new lie-flat regional business class seat onboard Boeing 787-10 aircraft. Photo: Simple Flying

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 While it is nice to have seatback entertainment on a flight, that screen seems incredibly outdated.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.

New, large entertainment screens on a HiFly plane. Photo: HiFly

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.

China Eastern 737
China Eastern flies the Boeing 737 on regional routes in East Asia. Photo: Aero Icarus via Flickr


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.