Which Qatar Airways Flights Will Feature The New Business Class Qsuites?

Earlier today Qatar Airways revealed their newest business class product, which they’ve been promising for the past couple of years. The product looks incredible, though I’ll share my thoughts in a follow-up post.

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Qatar Airways’ new Qsuite business class

In this post I wanted to share some of the answers Qatar Airways has provided to logical follow up questions about the product. In no particular order:

What’s the first route to feature Qatar Airways’ new business class?

The 777-300ER will be the first plane to feature the new Qsuites, and it will begin flying between Doha and London as of June 2017. As of now the new configuration hasn’t been loaded into the schedule, though. The first plane with the new product will be a newly delivered Boeing 777-300ER, rather than a reconfigured one, so I suspect the exact timeline remains subject to change.

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Qatar Airways’ new Qsuite business class

Will all longhaul Qatar Airways planes get the new Qsuites?

Yesish. All 777s and A350s will feature Qatar Airways’ new Qsuites. Meanwhile the 787s and A380s will feature a modified version of the product, given that the business class cabins on those planes aren’t as wide. I’ll be curious to see how different that product is. In a way I’m surprised they’re even changing the product on those planes, given that they already feature excellent reverse herringbone seats.

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Qatar Airways’ current A380 business class

Meanwhile I don’t believe that the A330 and A340 aircraft will feature the new product.

Will Qatar Airways finally introduce wifi on their 777s?

Al Baker refused to answer that question. It would be a real shame if they still don’t add wifi to their 777s, especially given that they operate many of Qatar’s longest routes.

How soon will planes be retrofitted with the new product?

Al Baker claims that all planes will be reconfigured by next year. That seems highly optimistic to me, so personally I wouldn’t count on that. Al Baker is known for being optimistic when it comes to timelines. It could also be that he was referring to a subset of the fleet.

How much will the business class seat count be reduced?

This is the most shocking part. Qatar Airways apparently won’t be reducing seat count to accommodate these new seats. The 777-300ERs feature 42 business class seats, and the new product will also feature 42 seats, without eliminating economy seats. While I wasn’t expecting a huge reduction in seat count, the fact that there’s no reduction in seat count at all makes me wonder what I’m missing.

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Qatar Airways’ current 777 business class

Hopefully we learn more details about the new product soon, and I can’t wait to try it myself!

Comments

  1. It seems like a massive waste of money to refit almost new 787s and A350s that already have the excellent reverse herringbone. I daresay some solo pax may actually prefer the old seats.
    Their newest A350 was delivered only 2 weeks ago with the ‘old’ seats!
    This whole exercise proves QR has more money than they know what to do with.

  2. If you look at the current 777 picture, you see that each row takes up 3-4 windows. On the new config, the picture of the window seat shows each row taking up about 2 windows. So, even though you go from 2-2-2 to 1-2-1, maybe the smaller footprint allows you to go from 7 rows to 10+ rows. Maybe that is how they are staying at 42 without a reduction in economy.

  3. Flying A350 from CDG-DOH & DOH-PHL in November. Any chance you think this might happen in time for that?

  4. I wonder how the other airlines will react to this news. in particular the American based ones. I hope this competition will push them to do more for their passengers. I cant wait to try the new product.

  5. On another note, I just flew QR BKK-DOH-ZRH, whereas I used miles to upgrade myself into F on the BKK-DOH sectors. I don’t know whether this is known among QR passengers, but if a flight in F class lasted at least 5 hours and the connection will be in C class, given that no F class is available on the connecting flight, the passenger will be entitled to use the Al Safwa F class lounge in DOH. As Lucky has mentioned in his previous QR F class lounge comments, staff knowledge is very inconsistent, so if someone refuses to honour this, the passenger must insist. I went to the C class lounge holding both boarding passes, the BKK-DOH and the DOH-ZRH and asked. The first person confirmed but while entering the Al Safwa lounge they first refused to admit me. I then insisted and after a few calls, it was all fine!

  6. Apparently the next two routes (after LHR) with the new Business class will be CDG and JFK (as per Airliners.net say)

  7. “While I wasn’t expecting a huge reduction in seat count, the fact that there’s no reduction in seat count at all makes me wonder what I’m missing.”
    Look at the aisles in both the pics and you would realize that the aisle in the newer version is much narrower.

  8. @JP when flying business from ME and connecting in doha you will be admitted in the Al Safwa lounge. Even if the flight isn’t near 5h. Business class in ME doesn’t exist on QR, it’s promoted as First. So when for example flying DXB-DOH-… you will be able to enter First class lounge.

  9. I think the fact that they alternate backward facing seats allows them to pack more seats in. See BA.

  10. Will definitely be excited to try out these seats. Hopefully there is no future devAAluations coming and we can still book reasonably with AA miles

  11. Looks great. Only, I can’t imagine to travel backwards in an aircraft. Does it matter on a flight?

  12. The seats are definitely a clever design. It looks like the seat itself and the aisle are both narrower, which with the staggered design probably keeps the same square inch footprint on the plane. I’m a bit curious, though, because this is rather the same general concept AA had with their failed zodiac refit seats. Alternating front and back-facing seats can allow a denser configuration, but I’d be concerned whether the anchors on the side seated back-to-back have been reinforced to prevent stability issues between seat pairs.

  13. @ Nickolaus: It doesn’t matter. I actually prefer flying backwards — just because it’s different from the norm. It’s not all that different from facing backwards on a train.

  14. 3 posts on this Qatar announcement, all within hours of each other, all with relatively little information. If Qatar isn’t paying you by the post, I’d be SHOCKED. Why not just combine all of these into one?

  15. Seem to remember they announced they will move to 3-4-3 in Y on some of their T7, that might be the trick to squeeze in the same number of Y seats on less space, allowing them to “sacrifice” some space for the new Q-Suites.
    Not sure what number of Y seats HHE was referring to when saying they are kept constant, whether he was looking at 3-3-3- or 3-4-3 config.

  16. @Nikolaus I think the only place you’d really notice being backwards would be take-off/ascent or descent/landing. That’s when you would experience positive or negative acceleration. On take-off you would be pulled away a bit from your seatback, and when landing you would get pushed back into the seat. Since landings are a bit more apt to feel rough than take-off it may actually feel more comfortable being pushed back in the seat and thus more stable at that point. It is supposed to be a bit safer to fly backward because it’ll put less stress on your neck, especially if there is a (I don’t even want to say the word 😐 ) crash.
    All that said, if you were looking out the window it may be nicer (more fun) to have new objects come into view where you are focusing than in your periphery.

  17. Looks like front and rear facing seats with overlap (unlike existing). Overlap is feet go in a space under the arm rests/tables. Looks like 2-4-2 to me (from 2-2-2). The foot space gets narrow – hence alternating front/rear facing.

    That is how they are getting same number of seats.

  18. @ Nickolaus The only difference is on take-off when you lean forward a bit. You also get better views of the wing if you have a window.

  19. @Nikolaus,
    When you are facing backwards, there is no feeling difference once you are at cruising altitude. A plus is the fact that on an overnight flight, a lie flat bed actually keeps your head elevated as the nose of the plane is always a little upwards in flight 😉

  20. @anon – Agreed. He’s just posting for the sake of posting. Drives site traffic I guess.

  21. Great use of space on the new design compared to the 2-2-2 layout.
    Logic…
    42 seats @ 8 across in 5.25 rows vs @ 6 across in 7 rows (old layout). Reduction of 1.75 row length devided across 5.25 rows allows for 1/3 row length more per seat hence allowing for full gain in shoulder space (foot space does not cut into shoulder space as with BA’s yingyang).
    One can argue that Qatar currently ‘wastes’ one seat per row as other carriers have a 2-3-2 layout (Emirates etc). Overlooking the awkward middle seat, the wasted space has no benefit for buzz customers other than the 1/2 seat wider aisles, which arguably is of little use in flight. This new config recaptures wasted space from the aisle for brilliant redistribution among pax seats (have to love the additonal ‘couch’ area for each seat).

    It comes down to preference if a seat tapered to bias shoulder space is superior over a rectangular box. From the pics the width gain around the shoulder area looks to be somewhere around 1/2 a seat which for most is a sufficient benefit to pay the price at the foot end.
    This new config positively is an improvement for pax on extra wide bodies such as 777 and 350.
    It is to be seen if the gain in shoulder space, which is bound to be less than the gain on 777/350, is superior to the current diamond seats on 787 and 380 upper deck. At least in dimension of the foot end both suffer from a tapered space.
    Having said that, the similarity to Etihad’s buzz studio makes this an exciting intro – personally i consider Etihad’s buzz studio to be superior to Qatar’s diamond as i dislike the herringbone angle, anyone else…?
    On privacy, which has always been Qatar’s weakness, this new config is a leap forward… Maybe even more so than Delta’s announced One Suite.
    Any comments, comparisons on the latter would be great.

  22. I am wondering that QR will not launch the Qsuites right from the beginning on the 777-200 LRs which are in use on the Ultra-Longhaul-Flights such as DOH-AKL for example. Why do. they start with the 777-300 ER?

  23. I flew on the new Q Suite layout from London to Doha on the 15th August and they are superb seats, I was on a forward facing Window seat but had a good look at the others and they are all the same, even the 2 in the center have partitions if you are not traveling together, the privacy is nice, not worried about other peoples lights shining in your seat when you want to sleep etc. Not sure why they started it on a shorter route but def. wasn’t complaining. Didn’t notice a narrower seat in fact it felt bigger, to be honest the new screens are much bigger so great for movies. I would say they are pretty much as good as Emirates first class suites at a much cheaper price so good on Qatar Airways.

  24. I thought I was in First class !!! when I first experienced QSuite ( LHR – DOH A380 Aug 2017) . Absolutely amazing and so much room and comfortable. Large TV that was the perfect distance for viewing. Excellent service as always Qatar! Thank you.

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