Boeing is delivering its first 737 “Boeing Sky Interior” today to FlyDubai. The interior is inspired by the 787, which was also adapted to the 747-8.
Here is a link to a feature story prepared by Boeing’s Corp Com specialist Bernard Choi that was dated last July.
We had the opportunity to first be introduced to the interior in April 2009 when Boeing first revealed it and technical enhancements to the 737 that improve its fuel consumption by an estimated 2%.
The Boeing Sky Interior (that’s its correct name, but with apologies to Boeing we’ll shorten it henceforth for this post) has what we call the “wow” effect when you first enter the cabin. This is a step-change from the interiors we road warriors are all so used to, and for those of us who are really old, it’s as much of a step change in appearance as was the overhead bin look from the open hat racks of the 1970s.
This sounds like hyperbole, but it’s what we think and feel. It knocks the socks off the current 737 and Airbus A320 interiors, the latter which was updated in 2007-2008. The A320 interior is really nice, and its functionality is very good, with one feature that the Sky Interior doesn’t have (a handrail to hold on to when walking to or from the aft lavs)–but the A320 interior is the traditional look of the 20th Century.
The 787 design team created a 21st Century look that was the original “wow,” and which was adopted in most respects for the 747-8. But delays in these two programs means the 737’s Sky Interior is the first the traveling public will see of the new look.
The Sky Interior doesn’t include the 787’s fancy tinting windows–the weight-and-cost associated with it wasn’t deemed worth it for the very different mission of the 737 compared with the 787. But in many other respects, the similarities between the Sky Interior and the 787 is readily apparent.
So what, you may ask?
Boeing’s Kent Craver, regional director of passenger satisfaction and revenue marketing, said yesterday that studies indicate a pleasing (our word) interior like this will attract one additional coach passenger every three or four flights and one first class passenger every 35 flights. Over five years, this adds about $400,000 in revenue (on a net present value basis) per airplane so equipped. This may not sound like much, but in an industry that is charging a la carte pricing for just about everything, every penny counts.