Flydubai's seating plan hits the suite spot

Dubai-based carrier has unveiled its new business-class offering for the increasingly-competitive Gulf marketplace.

New business-class cabin

The new business-class cabin will have seats that can be converted from closed suites for privacy to a more open-plan format, for those wishing to talk to neighbours. Picture: Flydubai

Hybrid carrier Flydubai is to introduce its new business-class cabin by the end of this year.

The aim, the company said at Arabian Travel Market in May, is to bring widebody-style levels of privacy and comfort to the narrowbody market.

The airline said that ‘The Business Suite’, which has been designed specifically for single-aisle aircraft, is the latest evolution in its premium cabin offering.

The airline began life as a low-cost carrier but has for some years offered a business-class cabin to cater for local tastes.

The new business-class cabin will have 10 suites installed in some of the airline’s newest Boeing 737 MAX aircraft with deliveries before the end of 2023. The new cabin will be available on up to six aircraft by Q1 2024 and will be scheduled on longer flights around the Flydubai network.

The new seat will offer all business-class passengers direct aisle access, which emulates business-class cabins on board many widebody aircraft. 

Flydubai is the launch customer for the new seat, which has been designed in collaboration with Safran Seats and JPA Design, a multinational design company. 

Flydubai business suite
Picture: Flydubai

“Our business and product offerings have evolved from the initial no-frills model over the past 14 years to cater to the ever-growing needs of our customers and the markets we operate in,” Flydubai CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith said.

“We have come a long way since the introduction of our first business-class offering in 2013, which has served us well. We are proud to unveil a new premium product which rivals the business-class experience offered by many airlines on wide-body aircraft.” 

The airline introduced lie-flat seats to its business-class cabins in 2017.

Daniel Kerrison, Flydubai’s vice-president of inflight product said that the increased height of the seat’s back-shell, a sliding suite door, created a level of privacy never before seen on Boeing 737s. However, passengers will be able to transform their seats from a fully-closed suite experience to a more traditional open-plan seat for greater social interaction, should they wish. 

In-flight entertainment will come in the form of a Bluetooth system that allows the use of personal headphones with a 17-inch 4K built-in touchscreen.

Alan Dron

Alan Dron

Alan Dron is air transport editor at Arabian Aerospace for which he has written since its launch.