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May 29, 2024
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It’s not just Etihad to reveal the latest Business Class suites in Dubai. flydubai also unveiled its new premium product during Arabian Travel Market today. The airline is to join the select but growing number of carriers that offers Business suites on single-aisle aircraft, with a number of its factory-built Boeing MAX aircraft to receive the suites in Q4 this year. flydubai fits its new Business Suite on the MAX.

In 2017, Flydubai was one of the first airlines to offer a lie-flat Business Class seat on its MAX 8s. Designed by JPA Design, it has 31 MAX 8s with ten Thompson Aero Advantage seats and three MAX 9 with sixteen seats in a 2-2 and 1-1 configuration. In 2021, the airline introduced HEACO Eclipse recliner seats on twelve MAX 8s while a different Business product has been available on twenty 737-800s since 2013.

Now, flydubai teamed up again with JPA Design and Safran to rethink the premium cabin. The outcome is “The Business Suite’, with a lie-flat seat of 20.4 inches wide or 23.8 inches in bed mode and a length of 75 inches. There will be ten of them on a number of MAX aircraft, with the seats in a 1-1 configuration and facing toward the windows. Flydubai is the launch customer of the new VUE seats, which come with privacy doors, electronically dimmable windows, and 17.3 inches touch screens, plus all the things you expect from a state-of-the-art BC suite.

Growing demand

While Business suites have long been associated only with long-haul travel on widebodies, flydubai has noticed that there is a growing demand for the product on narrowbody aircraft on medium-haul routes too. As CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith says in a media statement: “Our business and product offerings have evolved from the initial no-frills model over the past fourteen years to cater to the ever-growing needs of our customers and the markets we operate to.”

He added: “We have come a long way since the introduction of our first Business Class offering in 2013, which has served us well. Today, we are proud to unveil a new premium product that rivals the Business Class experience offered by many airlines on wide-body aircraft. We will continue to invest in innovation to enhance the customer experience across our growing fleet.”

“The new business suite will take comfort on board to the next level. The increased height of the back shell, a sliding suite door and direct aisle access for every passenger create a level of privacy never before seen on Boeing 737s,” says Daniel Kerrison, who is Vice President of Inflight Products with the airline. “We have been working with Safran Seats and JPA Design over the past three years to develop an experience that meets the growing demand for premium air travel services across our network, offering passengers wide-body comfort on our narrow-body fleet.”

Flydubai expects the first MAX with the new Business Suite to join the fleet in November, with six aircraft available with the product in Q1 2024. The suites will become available on the longer routes in the flydubai network. How many more aircraft will receive the suites hasn’t been disclosed.

The airline currently operates 43 MAX 8s, three MAX 9s, and thirty 737-800s. Although flydubai reduced the number of aircraft on order in June 2021, Boeing data shows that it still had 139 unfilled MAX orders at the end of March.

author avatar
Richard Schuurman
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016. Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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