Home' Asian Aviation : AAV Dec Jan 2010 Contents 24 AsianAviation | DECEMBER 2010 / JANUARY 2011
MAS launches Boeing Sky Interior in Asia
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has
become the first carrier in
Asia to operate the Boeing
737-800 single-aisle jetliner
with the manufacturer's
brand new cabin, the Boeing
e Kuala Lumpur-based airline, which has ordered
35 of the aircra (with an additional 20 options) to
replace its ageing eet of 737-400s, took delivery of
two in November. e third was set for delivery in
December, while the rest will be handed over on a
staggered schedule through to 2014.
e rst two aircra are based at MAS's new hub in
Eastern Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
e aircra are deployed on ser vices to Tokyo's Haneda
airport and the South Korean capital Seoul.
e 737-800 cabins are con gured in a two-class
layout with 16 seats in business class and 144 in
economy. e business-class seats o er a 42-inch pitch
and are equipped with 10.6-inch LCD widescreen
video monitors. In economy class, the seat-pitch is 30
inches and each seat has a 9-inch LCD screen.
MAS says it plans to exercise its purchase rights for
some of the 20 aircra on option. According to MAS
Chief Executive O cer Tengku Azmil Zahruddin, the
airline has yet to decide on the number.
e carrier has also not ruled out plans to acquire
the larger 737-900ER, which accommodates 180
passengers in a typical two-class layout.
e new cabin interior is a Boeing initiative, aimed at
o ering passengers a superior travel experience. e
company says the new interior is the result of many
years' of work by its employees and suppliers, guided
by customer input.
According to John Hamilton, the 737 programme's
chief project engineer, Boeing started work on the
interior with a number of studies while it was
developing the interior for the new 787 Dreamliner.
" We looked at a refreshing experience that we
could o er passengers with a new interior," Hamilton
told Asian Aviation in an inter view in Seattle. Boeing
decided to apply research done for the 787 interior to
its single-aisle 737 Next Generation family.
"In late 2008, we visited a number of our key
customers and shared with them some concepts and
received some feedback from them," Hamilton said.
e airlines recommended that the proposed blue
sky lights should not be part of the basic design,
instead stressing the need for enhanced security.
Boeing took suggestions from customers to integrate
added security features in the new cabin.
e Boeing Sky Interior was launched on the
737NG family in April 2009 with eight carriers. e
eight are Malaysia Airlines, Air Berlin, Continental
Airlines, Flydubai, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Lion Air,
UI Travel Plc and GOL Airlines.
At press time 46 airlines and leasing companies had
ordered the 737NG with the Boeing Sky Interior for
more than 1,200 aircra .
The Boeing Sky Interior cabin offers sculpted
side walls and window reveals, while new, larger
overhead bins accommodate more baggage than
earlier designs, while taking up less cabin space.
Hamilton said the innovative design of the new bins
o ers passengers more headroom and a greater sense
of space in the cabin.
Airlines will select from a variety of lighting schemes
that range from a so -blue overhead sky simulation to
a relaxing pallet of sunset colours. Traditional lighting
is replaced by brighter light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
"With an estimated 40,000 hours between
replacements, LEDs last 10 times longer than the
previous standard lights, [offering ] a significant
saving on maintenance," Hamilton pointed out. He
said other features of the cabin include lower noise,
intuitive placement of switches and call buttons, and
new speakers in each passenger row, o ering enhanced
Boeing is now working on a package of performance
improvements to the 737NG family that will reduce
fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 2 percent --
making the aircra a full 7 percent more e cient than
the rst 737NG that had its maiden ight in 1997.
Beverly Wise, 737 vice president and general manager
said the performance improvements to the airframe
and engine are beginning certi cation testing soon,
and will be in operational service by early 2012.
As reported elsewhere in this issue (see feature, page
31) Boeing has not decided whether to o er a re-
engined version of the 737NG or to replace it with a
new single-aisle. " e 737NG, especially the -800 is so
much in demand by large network operators and low
cost airlines, improvements to the aircra will continue
to be made," Hamilton said, adding that a decision
could be made sometime in 2018.
e 737NG has been produced in four variants, the
-600, -700, -800 and the -900ER.
Monthly production of the 737NG will be increased
from 31.5 aircra now to 35 in February 2012, rising
to 38 in the second quarter of 2013. Key factors driving
the accelerated production include Boeing's backlog of
more than 2,000 aircra .
Boeing has yet to make a decision on whether to
stop production of the -600 series, which went into
commercial service in 1998. Hamilton acknowledged
that orders for the -600 have been slow but the
production line remains open to cater for any orders
that may be received. ●
Inspired by the cabin of the 787 Dreamliner, the Boeing Sky Interior for the 737NG jetliner offers passengers more
space, enhanced lighting and less noise, writes William Dennis in Seattle.
The new cabin's overhead bins offer
more storage space while still allowing
passengers more headroom.
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