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Qatar Airways Debuts New Qsuite Business Class On June 24

Qsuite (middle seats with partition on)

Qatar Airways will debut its much touted Qsuite business class product on a flight from Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH) to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) on June 24, 2017.

 

Qatar Airways / Qsuite

First reported back in March 2017 (Related News), Qatar Airways will introduce an innovative business class product dubbed “Qsuite” that features multiple configurations (single, double and quad) and caters to different demographics. The quad design is an evolution to the one started on trains. The airline chose a Boeing 777-300ER to be the first to equip with the new seats. The aircraft will feature 42 Qsuites (1-2-1 configuration) and 316 (3-4-3 configuration) Economy seats. Note that the airline does not have a Premium Economy cabin.

 

Qsuite Configuration Low Density 777-300ER
Qsuite Configuration on Low Density 777-300ER Source: Qatar Airways / Australian Business Traveller

 

The 42 Qsuites are split into the following categories:

  • 20 window seats (10 rear-facing: 1AK, 3AK, 5AK, 8AK, 10AK and 10 forward-facing: 2BJ, 4BJ, 6BJ, 9BJ, 11BJ) that are perfect for single travellers. The AK seats will have access up to four windows.
  • 22 inner seats  (12 rear-facing: 1EF, 3EF, 5EF, 7EF, 9EF, 11EF and 10 forward-facing: 2DG, 4DG, 6DG, 8DG, 10DG).
    • Six paired middle seats can be converted into double beds (an industry first): 1EF, 3EF, 5EF, 7EF, 9EF and 11EF
    • First five sets four middle seats can be converted into quads (an industry first): 1EF+2DG, 3EF+4DG, 5EF+6DG, 7EF+8DG, 9EF+10DG

 

Qsuite Quad Configuration

      Qsuite Quad Configuration      Source: Qatar Airways

 

Each seat can be converted into a 79in (2m) lie-flat bed with a width of 21.5 in (55cm) and a privacy door that has a 53.5in (1.35m) height. In addition, passengers can enjoy up to 3,000 hours of entertainment on giant 21.5in (55cm) AVOD inflight entertainment system featuring the Onyx One platform.  Connectivity is available through an array of power port, USB, HDMI and NFC connections. There will be a dedicated Do Not Disturb sign for flight crew. Note that there is no WiFi connection on board the airline’s 777 fleet currently.

 

 

Scheduling and Pricing

Qatar Airways has up to six flights daily from Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH) to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) using a mix of Boeing 777-300ER, Airbus A350-900 and A380-800s. The latter is the only one featuring a First Class. The first flight with the Qsuite product is scheduled for June 24, 2017 on board QR 8 leaving Doha at 1600 (4pm). The flight will get into London by next day’s 0045 (0.45am).  The inaugural flight is currently on sale for £2,905 (approximately €3,299 / US$3,680).

 

Qatar Airways Qsuite First Flight Schedule
Qatar Airways Qsuite First Flight Schedule      Source: Google Flight

Future Expansion

The airline plans to retrofit the Qsuite product on board all Boeing 777-200LR, 777-300ER (high and low density) and Airbus A350-900 aircrafts as a rate of one per month. Future delivery of Boeing 777-300ERs, 777X and Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000 will also feature this cabin setup.

Boeing 777-200LR – 42 Qsuites (20 forward-facing / 22 rear-facing) + 217 Economy seats

Boeing 777-300ER (high density) – 24 Qsuites (12 forward-facing / 12 rear-facing) + 388 Economy seats

Airbus A350-900 – 36 Qsuites (16 forward-facing / 20 rear-facing)+ 246 Economy seats

Airbus A350-1000 – 46 Qsuites (22 forward-facing / 26 rear-facing) + 281 Economy seats

The airline was able to use the same footprint to create a new sitting environment without sacrificing space or comfort.  Given the differences in fuselage width, the Boeing 787s and Airbus A380s will have another Qsuite design to be unveiled in the future.

 

Competitive Landscape

While Delta Air Lines is the first in the world to introduce an all suite business class design in October 2016 with the new Delta One seat (Related News), it will follow Qatar Airways in its October 2017 introduction.  The airline will retain the title as the only in the Americas to have this design.

When it comes to rear-facing seats, there are only three other airlines with this type of design:

  • British Airways (who pioneered it with Club World more than 15 years ago)
  • United Airlines (who is phasing out the forward/rear design in favor of the new Polaris 1-2-1 configured seat) and
  • American Airlines (who is in the final stretches at retrofitting most of its long haul Boeing 777 and 787 fleet).

Qatar Airways’ chief Middle Eastern competitors Etihad Airways and Emirates have not announced plans to reinvent their business class product with a similar design. As a direct comparison on board the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, Etihad has a 1-2-1 configuration while Emirates has one with 2-3-2 in business class. Both airlines only feature forward facing seats capable of converting into lie-flat beds.

 

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