Judging by the traffic it looks like lots of people are interesting in the brand new Qatar Airways Qsuite Business Class unveiled just hours ago.
His Excellency Mr. Akbar al Baker addressed the assembled press (of which I’m a part! It made me feel so official!) at a press conference shortly after the unveiling where he, in his own legendary way, spoke about a variety of topics. I’ll try and stick to those which are most pertinent to the Qsuite concept.
Which routes will it fly?
First off, the Qsuite Business Class seat will be installed in June 2017 on Qatar’s 777 aircraft, initially flying to London (from Doha) before expanding to Paris and New York’s JFK.
What planes will get the new seat first?
Qatar’s 777 and A350-1000 aircraft (they will take possession of their A350-1000 starting next year) will get the seat first and those will contain the truest form of the Qsuite concept. Other jets like the 787 and the A380 will get similar versions in feel but they will have to tweak the seat a bit to account for the difference in width of the cabins (especially on the A380 since their business class cabin is on the upper deck, which has a curvier cabin).
Will this change Qatar’s plans for First Class on the A380?
Baker mentioned specifically that they would continue to have First Class on the A380. One of the defining features of the Qsuite is the full door (compared to Delta’s new offering methinks). The odd bit here is that First Class on the A380 doesn’t have fully-enclosed suites, so it strikes me as odd that Business Class passengers would put a premium on privacy while First Class passengers less so. Baker did say that they are looking at ways of making the First Class cabin a bit more private but they liked the open feel of the current cabin.
What else did they announce?
New amenity kits! They’re going to use amenity kits from Bric’s, which they distributed to us after the press conference (I’ll be giving it away). In addition to the amenity kits they will also offer new pajama kits from White’s.
IFE systems have been revamped to offer more shows/movies as well as a GUI that puts an emphasis on ease of navigation, which is a welcome change from their existing system, which I haven’t liked.
All in all there was a lot of good news for Qatar customers (and the press conference was really well run, which is always nice). I think Qatar has a winner on their hands, especially with Mr. Akbar’s known attention to detail and rigorous demands for quality.
What do you think of the new Qsuite? Tell me in the comments below!