Singapore Airlines' shortest flights will soon boast a fully lie-flat bed in business class, putting the premium passenger experience on par with globe-striding journeys: here's your first look at SQ's Boeing 737 MAX business class.
As Executive Traveller first reported in February 2019, for its Boeing 737 MAX business class, Singapore Airlines chose the Vantage model from Thompson Aero Seating, carefully styled by London's Factorydesign.
Every passenger in the ten-seat cabin will relax in a seat of 19-22" width (yes, some of the seats are noticeably narrower than others).
These seats recline all the way back to a fully-flat bed of 1.94m (76").
They're fronted by a 16" HD video screen, with AC and USB ports within easy reach.
Other creature comforts include a wide folding tray table, a stowage nook under the monitor, a reading light with adjustable brightness, mood lighting around the seat and inflight WiFi (for which business class passengers get their first 100Mb free).
A unique trait of the Vantage seat's layout is that the rows alternate between two seats and just one seat.
In the case of Singapore Airlines' Boeing 737 MAX, this means the single seats are in row 12, as seats 12B and 12J.
Generally known as 'throne' seats, they're highly prized by solo travellers for the added privacy and personal space they afford.
Both have extended shelving by the window plus a side cabinet equipped with a mirror and LED light.
Even the seats themselves are wider, at 22" across, compared to 19" at row 11 and 20" at row 14.
They're also the only seats with direct aisle access, compared to the paired 'couples' seats in rows 11 and 14.
And while those two thrones will be the top picks for frequent flyers, Singapore Airlines says it has no plans to either charge extra to select them before your flight, or to initially reserve them for elite PPS Club members.
Factorydesign and Singapore Airlines have dressed the Boeing 737 MAX seats with colours and detailing in keeping with their long-range Airbus and Boeing siblings – most notably the medium-range business class of the Boeing 787-10 and some Airbus A350s – with "a pink champagne and anthracite colour scheme mixed with burnt orange accents."
Singapore Airlines says the seats spearhead a SGD$230 million investment – including development, design, and installation – which "elevates the standard for short- and medium-haul travel on board narrowbody aircraft."
"We can now offer customers a premium travel experience across our entire full-service network, no matter how long or short their journey," says Lee Lik Hsin, Singapore Airlines' EVP Commercial.
Singapore Airlines inherited the Boeing 737 MAX fleet from now-axed regional sibling SilkAir, and has already upgraded six MAX jets with these new seats.
The airline says these will take wing "in the coming weeks" to selected destinations "in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, and Thailand."
Eight more Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets will be delivered between now and March 31 2022.