A new version of Qatar’s QSuites for B787-9
Qatar’s QSuites with their full door are the perfect business class seat for the current COVID issue. With the door shut and plenty of space between passengers that are staggered in opposite directions, it adds an extra dimension of social distancing to business class. Currently, it is only fitted to their Boeing 777s and the Airbus 350s as the layout of the B787s does not lend it self to the QSuite due to being narrower. There is also an issue with the layout of the A380s in terms of fitting in the QSuites.
Qatar’s CEO revealed in an interview with Australia’s Executive Traveller Magazine that they would be designing a completely new QSuite for the B787 based on the current B787 business class seats but with the addition of full privacy. The seats would not be the Collins Super Diamond seats that they currently use and were recently adapted by adding a door for British Airways’ new Club Suites. Instead, they will be a similar design to the current seat foodprint but not made by Collins.
Originally these seats were also due to be fitted on the A380s, but given that they are now due to retire between 2024-2028, Qatar have decided not to bother changing the seats in business class. It’s unlikely that Qatar will be in any rush to bring back the A380 to the skies as they are currently trying to only operate flights with QSuites as this gives them an excellent safety proposition versus other non-suite business class seats.
The seats should have been shown off at the ITB Berlin show in March 2020 which was sadly canceled. The design is meant to be up to 20% less heavy than the current QSuites for better fuel efficiency, which was probably achieved by reducing the height of the suites and doors. Given the current concern over COVID, they may wish they had kept the previous dimensions!
You will still be able to create a shared double suite and double bed with the middle seats if you wish.
Qatar had previously ordered 30 B787-9s with seven already delivered. The B787-9s are due to replace most of the B787-8 and the A330s. This is good news as the A330s is one of the worse business class seats of the fleet in my opinion. However, Qatar recently deferred the rest of its new aircraft delivered to 2022 at the earliest.
The aircraft will also feature Qatar’s “Super Wifi” which is indeed pretty super! I have experienced it on a few flights and it is not only fast but good value for $10 for the whole flight. You can read my recent review of Qatar’s Qsuites here.
New regional business class
One of the issues with some of Qatar’s great prices from some of the Eastern European start points is the type of aircraft. Some of the shorter European flights only have a regional business class aircraft. Qatar has been promising a new regional business class product for a while and I was also expecting it to be announced in March at ITB Berlin. Qatar has now confirmed that their A321neo and A321neoLR aircraft will have a new regional business class product. You can read a review of the current business class product here.
The ‘mini-Qsuite’ will be liked a Qsuite without a door, but on a single-aisle aircraft. Every seat will have aisle access and extra privacy despite the lack of a door, so it will be a big step up from the current product. The A321neo and A321neoLR aircraft are currently expected for delivery in 2022. The seats will also convert into a fully flatbed.
A new first class?
Unbelievably CEO Al Baker confirmed to Executive Traveller that they are looking designing yet another new business class for the Boeing 777-9s! Also of particular interest is that they are considering a much smaller first class cabin for some of the later B777X deliveries. Currently first class is only available on a small number of routes served by the A380. With those grounded at the moment and due for retirement from 2024 onwards. Qatar will need to decide whether to continue offering a first class product. There is believed to still be a huge demand for a first class product which means they will have to come up with something new before the A380s retire.
Like British Airways, it sounds like they are considering keeping first but making the cabin much smaller. Paul loved his Qatar first flight which you can read about here. I personally found it a bit underwhelming in terms of the seat. It is hard to justify the extra expense when the QSuite is such a great business class product.
The new first would be available on two or three European routes such as London and Paris which are popular with wealthy Qatari travellers.