March 8, 2017
Did Qatar Just Unveil the World’s Best Business Class Seat?
All Images Courtesy of Qatar Air
Qatar Airways just unveiled its brand new business class cabin at the ITB Tradeshow in Berlin- and I have to say it looks gorgeous! Before we get into the details of the revolutionary product, here’s the reveal video from Qatar:
Qatar has been developing its new business class for three years and is calling the new product a ‘QSuite’, probably because it looks like a suite in the sky, with the slogan “First in Business”. Qatar wants to eliminate first class on many of its routes and transition to having only business class for its premium passengers. To do this, it set out to design a business and first class hybrid-and it looks like they did a terrific job.
The business cabin will be laid out in a 1-2-1 seat configuration like all airlines are moving to with their new aircraft, but Qatar has managed to optimize its space in a whole new way.
All QSuite seats come with sliding doors which fully enclose the passenger and create a much more private flying experience. You’ll also find a table next to each seat with a storage compartment underneath. The seats also offer a Do Not Disturb option so you can sleep comfortably, and come with new pillows, quilted mattress, pyjamas, new amenity kits, and a giant 21.5-inch TV.
While the window seats are great, the real innovation is happening in the middle two seats. Passengers can lower the privacy divider between the seats to experience a more intimate flying experience if they wish. This gets really cool when you also recline both the center seats to get the first business class double bed in the sky!
Qatar isn’t scrimping on space either-each seat measures 6 foot 7 inches long when fully reclined, so you’ll have plenty of room to stretch out. Some airlines like Singapore Air have offered joining double in first class but Qatar is the first airline to introduce it in business class. This isn’t even the coolest feature about the new QSuite.
Every other row of center seats in business class faces backwards. Qatar has designed these cabins to allow crewmembers to slide the TVs and open the panels to create a four-person ‘living room’ in the sky.
This is the first time we’re seeing a quad-design like this from an airline. Families of four or business people traveling together will be able to face each, talk, interact, and eat together in the QSuite.
The in-flight entertainment system is getting an upgrade and will offer over 3,000 entertainment options. Qatar is also enhancing its business class meal service, although its current food offerings are already industry-leading so this wasn’t exactly an urgent necessity.
QSuite Rollout Schedule
The first route to feature the new QSuite will Doha (DOH)-London (LHR) on a brand new Boeing 777-300ER. The new product is expected to launch in June 2017.
Qatar will be retrofitting all its Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft with the QSuite and hopes to have the retrofit completed by 2018-a very aggressive and optimistic timeline. Its existing Boeing 787s and Airbus A380s will not be getting the full QSuite product. Those planes aren’t wide enough support the new seats. Qatar will instead be modifying those seats to a different version of the new business class seat which offers the same amount of privacy as the QSuite.
What’s really interesting about the QSuite is that Qatar is somehow able to fit the same number of seats as it currently operates in business class. This is great for people booking award flights in business class as theoretically the number of available award seats won’t change. If Qatar had reduced the number of seats, we’d have less award inventory.
These seats look amazing and I can’t wait to try them out! Qatar already has a great business class product and this looks even better. The bar’s been raised across the airline industry again-hopefully the competition ups its game and competes head-on. We’re expecting new Singapore Airline business class seats in the near future and Lufthansa is also upgrading its business class starting in 2020. What are everyone’s thoughts on the new QSuite?