I took a flight from Dubai to Beirut on Flydubai’s newest Boeing 737-800 sky interior at the weekend. Flydubai was the launch customer of this aircraft, with three currently in operation and another on the way next week.
Flydubai is very happy with its choice. “The volume of living space has increased with the sky interior”, Captain Ken Gile, Flydubai’s COO told me on board the flight. Here's how:
By raising the seat pockets upwards passengers are afforded almost two extra inches of knee room. With the bulky IFE power supply gone from under the seat (see my post on the Lumexis IFE here), there’s actually space for both legs to stretch out comfortably under the seat in front.
Raised tray table
The life vests that once lived under the seat, further restricting passenger comfort, have been moved to the overhead compartment.
Life vests are now stored in an overhead panel
The raising of the overhead bin means that passengers don’t have to bend to avoid bumping their heads as they leave their seats.
Lots more headroom
Flydubai has chosen a blue infinity colour ‘sky’ as it is aesthetically more pleasing and creates a bright, neutral environment on the aircraft.
Colour of the sky
These simple design changes have created a lot more room on the next generation 737 sky interior, and from a passenger standpoint, it’s noticeable.
From an operational point of view, the new design makes sense too. The seat pocket has been replaced with a slot that sits above the foldable tray table. It’s big enough for the emergency card, in-flight magazine and perhaps a passenger magazine or two. You’d find it difficult to stash a book, mobile phone, and various other bits into the slot though. Whilst it’s not ideal for passengers it’s better for the airline.
No room to hide
The cut-outs in the pocket mean it’s no longer a place to hide things and cleaning is made safer for ground crew. Previously, digging deep into the seat pocket brought about all sorts of dangers, not least the risk of needles left behind by diabetics.
The new space-age seats are really comfortable. I happily sat in my seat for three hours, unaided by a cushion, and felt entirely relaxed throughout. There’s only a two inch recline but with so much space in front, I did not feel like I was missing out.
More leg room
Verdict: I’ve sat in premium class seats on regional aircraft that have felt nowhere near as comfortable. This narrowbody truly felt like a widebody. Whilst Flydubai is unashamedly a no-frills carrier, the 737 sky interior offers a premium experience that helps set Flydubai apart from its Middle Eastern competitors.