27 AUGUST 2018
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Lie-flat First Class seats for the Boeing B737 Max 10 are being tested by United Airlines to meet demand for the premium transcontinental product in the US market.
United president Scott Kirby said at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Denver that the Chicago-based carrier is also looking to replace the Boeing B757s that it uses currently in the premium domestic market.
He said the lie-flat seats had been “really successful in the markets that we have it in”, adding: "There are other markets out of Newark and [Washington] Dulles that we would like to have it but we simply don't have airplanes to do it today."
The airline has 15 B757-200s in premium domestic configuration with 28 lie-flat First Class seats and 114 Economy Class seats, operating almost exclusively on the New York Newark – Los Angeles and New York Newark – San Francisco routes.
Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways already offer the premium lie-flat product on domestic routes and both have more aircraft fitted the seats than American Airlines or United.
United plans to test a prototype lie-flat seat for the Max 10 with passengers this autumn with a view to putting it into service when the first of the 100 aircraft on order begin arriving in 2020.
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