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The Qatar Airways business class seats and suites are finally getting upgraded to cater to the surge of business and luxury travelers in this post-pandemic period. It’s been almost two years since the pandemic broke out and it’s about time for airline companies to revive the travel industry, especially now that the US has opened its borders to vaccinated foreigners.
Qatar Airways Business Class Upgrades
After the revamp of the Qatar Airways business class fares, the airline now plans to make big upgrades for its fleets, particularly the A321neo, Boeing 787, and Boeing 777X. In an exclusive interview with Executive Traveller, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker gave a sneak peek at what the airline plans over the next few years to come.
Here are some key details on the Gulf carrier’s masterplan:
- Bespoke business class suite for the Airbus A321neo and A321LR fleet.
- Next generation seats for the Boeing 787 fleet.
- All-new Qsuite design for the Boeing 777X jets.
A321neo And A321XLR Jets To Have A “Mini-Qsuite”?
By the end of 2022, Qatar Airways plans to go all-in with 40 new Airbus A321neo jets which will replace the older A320 and A321 fleet.
If you recall, JetBlue’s A321LR mint suites are currently the industry standard for single-aisle business class, but it seems that Qatar Airways is also improving their own single-aisle business class on their A321neos. Business-class flyers should expect a bespoke suite design that comes with fully convertible seat beds and with individual aisle access. From what we’ve gathered, the upgrades could be described as a “mini Qsuite.”
“We are developing a new seat to go in the A321neo business class, and it will be a very unique seat in our aeroplane,” Al Baker mentioned. There are no doors but each seat will have a divider or door-like mechanism of some sort that will give flyers privacy during the trip.
As for the A321LR jets, Al Baker mentioned that the airline wants to have uniform seats on their airplanes which means that the A321LRs would have the same seat upgrades as the A321neos.
Boeing 787-9 Gets Next Gen Seat Froms Adient Aerospace
If you’re wondering why Qatar’s Boeing 787-9s or Dreamliners currently don’t have the Qsuite, it’s because the 787s are narrower compared to the 777s.
However, there were rumors of the Dreamliner Qsuites being in the works, basically a miniature version of the Qsuite which had shorter sliding doors and suite height. It was supposed to be revealed at Berlin’s annual ITB travel trade event in March 2020 but since that was canceled due to the pandemic, the Dreamliner Qsuites never came to light.
The Boeing 787-9s will come with a next-generation seat which is named the Ascent – a seat created by Adient Aerospace which a joint venture between Adient and Boeing. While Al Baker’s plans of having a Dreamliner Qsuite may not have happened, the Adient seat can still provide flyers maximum comfort with its sliding suite doors that transform your personal space into a cozy cocoon, seats that fully convert to a bed, and wireless charging. Not to mention, the seats are arranged in 1-2-1 layout giving flyers individual aisle access.
Additionally, an enhanced version of the Ascent seat is already in the works and the Al Baker mentioned that it will be installed on aircraft number 9 of the 787-9 fleet. Qatar Airways has eight Dreamliners in its hangars that have the current Ascent seat installed and it plans to install the enhanced version of the seat in these jets in about five years.
Qsuite Version 2.0 On The Boeing 777X
Al Baker has mentioned plans about having an upgraded version of the Qsuite on the Boeing 777x. However, it looks like we won’t see this happening anytime soon due to delivery delays on Boeing’s end.
There’s not enough information on the features and details of this Qsuite 2.0 but Al Baker said that it’s going to be an exclusive first-class cabin that would ply European routes for affluent Qataris. “We have huge demand here in Qatar to two or three European destinations,” said Al Baker, “so we may introduce a very small first-class cabin for our local passengers who want a very exclusive first-class product.”
More and more airlines are slowly bringing back their services to cater to post-pandemic travel demand. The Big 3 US carriers have been doing the same thing -American Airlines has brought back lounge access for flyers, Delta Airlines improved its in-flight services, and United introduced hot food on flights to Hawaii. And with the US opening up its borders to vaccinated foreigners, expect more airlines to follow the trend.