If you travel frequently, you'll likely be flying on a 737 MAX very soon — but probably not this one.
The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft promises to become an airline favourite: The eco-friendly and economical single-aisle aircraft is intended to serve longer routes more efficiently — and the business jet version of this plane is a true luxury apartment in the sky.
Boeing had a competition among the top designers in the field to design the new Boeing Business Jets, or BBJ MAX, and the Paris-based design firm of Alberto Pinto had the winning proposal. Their vision of flying on a 737 MAX is a perfect balance of modernity and coziness.
The layout is designed to accommodate up to 19 passengers and two crew. It includes a large entrance hall, a large galley for food preparation, a central corridor, a guest lavatory, a front lounge, dining area, and aft lounge, as well as a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, shower, vanity, and storage cabinets.
The custom seats designed for the lounge area follow the soft lines and curves that characterize the design of the rest of the aircraft. They were inspired by egg shells and feature integrated loudspeakers in the headrest. The sofa in the aft-lounge can be converted to a berth for added sleep comfort of guests onboard.
The roomy double-bed in the master bedroom is angled to make the most of the space available and faces a large flat-screen television. Pinto also included specifications for a large-OLED wallpaper screen to display in-flight entertainment in the dining area, with individual TV monitors in other zones, as well as custom-themed music creating ambiance while boarding the aircraft, and specialized dimmable lighting.
“This is not just a flying home or a flying office anymore. This is not just a travel experience,” Pinto said. “Our design is all about elegant and sensuous curves, versatile lighting and modern materials such as carbon fibre, with a strong presence of luxury craft quality standards.”
Boeing expects that the 737 BBJ MAX will prove very popular with wealthy individuals who travel often and for long distances with family and business partners, but want to avoid the hassle of flying commercial.
Boeing has sold 18 of the 737 BBJ MAX so far and they won’t say to whom. Business jets are most often purchased by very high-net-worth individuals, corporations, and world leaders.
Andrew Gough, Head of Brand Marketing for the BBJ Division of Boeing tells Travel + Leisure that the MAX delivers the performance that these VIPs want most in long distance travel.
“Our customers are inherently global,” he said. “They are flying missions all over the world. For example, [the] 7,000 nautical mile range [of the 737 BBJ MAX] would do a Dubai to New York Mission or Sydney to Los Angeles. Once you get into 7,000 nautical miles you start opening up city pairs. We really view it as a gamechanger.”
Those flying on the 737 MAX with commercial airlines will not be going quite as far. The weight of the 172 seats onboard, and other equipment required, reduces the 737 MAX 7 aircraft range to 3,800 nautical miles.
But this aircraft does promise to make transatlantic flights more affordable. While you will not be getting a double lay-flat bed and shower, and may not even see an in-flight entertainment screen on your seat, the 737 MAX still features the Boeing Sky Interior with modern architecture, mood lighting, and cabin environment improvements which can reduce discomfort and help flight jet lag.
There will be plenty of opportunities to try it out. Boeing has over 4,300 737 MAX model orders on the books from airlines all around the world, 80 of them already delivered.