United Airlines 737 United Airlines

United Airlines Developing 737 Lie-flat Seat

United could unveil a lie-flat seat in a Boeing 737 in 2020.

DENVER--United Airlines is working on a lie-flat premium-cabin seat and plans to have the first ones in service on Boeing 737-10s sometime in 2020, President Scott Kirby said.

Speaking to reporters during the International Aviation Forecast Conference here, Kirby said the new seat is something the carrier's network planners "would love to have" on certain routes out of its Newark and Washington Dulles hubs. This suggests the product could help counter other lie-flat offerings in high-demand transcontinental markets, and perhaps beyond.

JetBlue has expanded its Mint product beyond routes such as New York-Los Angeles to markets such as San Diego, Seattle, and even into the Caribbean, for example.

United's seat is in its second prototype, and plans call for customers to test the product later this year, Kirby said.

The seats would be installed on a subfleet of the carrier's 737-10s. United has 100 737-10s on order as well as 14 737-7s and 41 737-9, Aviation Week Fleet Discovery shows. It has six 737-9s in service.

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