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FlyDubai’s HEACO Eclipse business class seat
FlyDubai has just unveiled its new business class seat on social media, and it’s both not surprising and very surprising. FlyDubai has posted pictures of the HAECO Eclipse business class seat, stating that this will be available on some Boeing 737 MAX flights.
For those not familiar with the HAECO Eclipse business class seat, this is a staggered high density business class seat, and FlyDubai will be the launch customer for this product. We knew for a while that a Middle Eastern airline would be the launch customer for the seat, and for a long time the rumor was that this would be Emirates’ new premium economy seat. That didn’t turn out to be the case.
For those not familiar with FlyDubai, it’s a Dubai-based airline that’s owned by the government. The airline isn’t a subsidiary of Emirates (despite the two companies having the same owners), but rather the two airlines just cooperate closely.
FlyDubai exclusively flies Boeing 737s, and these new seats will be available on some Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Specifically, you can expect these seats on aircraft listed as “B737 MAX 8H” during the booking process.
FlyDubai’s other new business class seat
Here’s what’s strange. Historically FlyDubai’s business class has just consisted of pretty standard recliner seats. This is similar to what you might find in first class within the United States, except with a bit more legroom.
Then in 2017, when FlyDubai took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX, the airline introduced a new business class, which represented a huge improvement for the airline. The airline started installing fully flat business class seats, in a staggered configuration. The cabin had a total of 10 seats, with two rows being in a 2-2 configuration, and one row being in a 1-1 configuration.
At the time the plan was for these seats to be installed on all Boeing 737 MAXs, so clearly that’s no longer the case.
I’ll try to get answers, but as of now I’m not sure what exactly is going on:
- Even though FlyDubai only has one kind of plane (The Boeing 737, though there are several variants), the airline now has three different business class seats
- Is the airline no longer installing flat beds on any 737 MAXs, or is the plan maybe for some 737 MAXs (used for longer routes) to feature the flat beds, and other 737 MAXs (used for regional routes) to feature these less spacious seats?
- From a product consistency and aircraft planning perspective I find this decision to be puzzling
It looks like FlyDubai will be installing HAECO Eclipse business class seats on at least some Boeing 737 MAXs.
On the one hand, this isn’t surprising, since we had learned in 2020 that a Middle Eastern carrier would be the launch customer for this seat. On the other hand, this is very surprising, since FlyDubai had already introduced a new business class seat on the 737 MAX several years back.
I’d be curious to experience this cabin at some point, though there’s no denying that this is a significant downgrade over the fully flat 737 MAX business class seat that was previously introduced.
What do you make of FlyDubai’s latest new business class seat?