Singapore Airlines has revealed the interior of its new Boeing 737 Max 8, with 154 seats divided between business and economy class.

The new business class cabin features 10 lie-flat seats in a 4-2-4 staggered configuration. The pair of second row seats – which SIA dubs the ‘throne’ – feature extra privacy and additional workspace for executives travelling alone.

To allow all business class seats to be lie flat, it was necessary to restrict the second row to just two seats.

As for the 144 economy class seats, they feature a full Panasonic X-series seat-back inflight entertainment system.

United Kingdom-based Factorydesign is the designer behind the business class seats, which were manufactured by Thompson Aero Seating. Collins Aerospace produced the jet’s economy class seats.

The move marks a major departure for SIA, which retired its Silkair brand in order to bring regional, narrowbody flights in line with the premium SIA brand.

Lee Lik Hsin, executive vice president of commercial at SIA, says that subject to regulatory approvals it aims to launch 737 Max 8 operations by the end of of 2021 on regional routes to countries such as Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, and Thailand. SIA designates the narrowbody simply as the ‘737-8’. 

So far, SIA has six 737 Max 8s in its fleet.

It will receive eight additional examples by 31 March 2022, the end of its 2020/21 financial year. These jets will need to undergo cabin fitting work, so only one of them will join the original six aircraft before the end of the financial year.

Cirium fleets data shows that SIA has a total of 31 737 Max 8s on order. SIA’s entire 737 Max 8 fleet will have the same 154-seat configuration.

Lee adds that SIA will not retrofit its 14 737-800s – of which nine are in service and five in storage – to the new cabin standard. As air travel recovers in the region, these aircraft will focus on shorter regional routes pending their eventual departure from the fleet.