China Eastern is upgrading one of its two daily Melbourne-Shanghai flights to a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with business travellers set to enjoy private suites with sliding doors on the 10 hour trek.
The Boeing 787-9 slides into the MU737/MU738 service beginning February 1, 2019 – although the aircraft itself will belong to China Eastern subsidiary Shanghai Airlines.
The Dreamliners are fitted with the same impressive business class seats as the airline's new Airbus A350s: a highly-customised version of Thompson Aero's Vantage XL+ developed by London-based aviation specialist studio Factorydesign.
Each of the 26 business class seats is framed by high walls and a sliding privacy door.
The Vantage XL+ is the same seat adopted by China Eastern partner Delta Air Lines for its latest Delta One suite, which will appear on the Sydney-Los Angeles route from April 2019.
The first row of the Dreamliner's cabin raises the bar with four first class seats built around Thompson's Vantage First concept.
Each of these super-spacious suites boasts its own mini-bar and an upsized 32 inch touchscreen display.
The paired middle seats can double as a social space or ad hoc meeting room for four passengers by opening up an extra-wide table and flipping over each suite's ottoman to reveal a padded, seatbelt-equipped companion bench.
But if you're flying solo, the window seats certainly won't see you slumming it.
It's all a solid boost from the Airbus A330 which China Eastern currently flies between Melbourne and Shanghai. The SkyTeam member's other daily flight on that route – MU739/MU740 – will continue as a Boeing 777-300ER.