Qatar Airways unveils revolutionary Business Class seats
Posted on 13/03/2017
TransportUnited Arab Emirates
This year's ITB Berlin saw Qatar Airways take centre stage to unveil its latest seat design for Business Class flyers. The airline's highly-anticipated alterations have, as expected, raised the bar in the field of premium travel.
First ever double beds in Business Class
Qatar Airways chose last week's ITB Berlin - the world's largest travel trade show - to showcase its new Business Class seat designs for the first time. The airline's cutting-edge QSuites focus on optimising both space and privacy for Business Class travellers, a move that has raised the stakes for its competitors.
The most emblematic of the QSuites' features are the 'suite seats', with closing doors to offer similar privacy to First Class. The seat also converts into a double bed, an industry first for Business Class suites.
The design incorporates two pairs of opposite-facing seats, along with adjustable panels and television monitors, so that passengers can link four individual suites together. This is ideal for families to have a shared social space or for business associates to hold a meeting in the sky.
The innovative design also allows couples to chat without bending their necks, compared to the reverse herring-bone technology used by other airlines which makes it both difficult and uncomfortable to talk.
The 'future of premium travel'
The carrier launched its new designs in a ceremony for international media, travel industry representatives and VIP guests on the first day of the event in Berlin. Visitors at the exhibition were invited to test the new Business Class cabins and airline booths, whilst the event was live-streamed via its Facebook page.
Calling it the "future of premium travel", Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said QSuite travel would offer, "more privacy, more choice and more personalisation, enabling our passengers to enjoy a first-class experience in business class."
The airline has also redesigned its food and drink menus for Business Class passengers, in line with the sociability granted by linked-up suite sections. Sharing dishes and snack trays will be on offer for the duration of the flight, alongside a selection of standard meals.
Passengers will also be able to take advantage of a new dine-on-demand service, giving more flexibility on meal times and a personal Do Not Disturb sign. For those who choose to sleep through the typical morning meal service, a new wake-up Express Breakfast will be available.
Changes in technology and in-flight entertainment have also be incorporated into Qatar Airways' new suites. The Oryx One IFE platform has been resigned for flyers to browse content more easily, with 3,000 options on offer including news, movies, music and games.
Seats will be finished with hand-stitched Italian leather and satin rose-gold, and passengers will be gifted pyjamas from The White Company, along with high-end amenity kits with cosmetics from Italy's prestigious Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio.
The first flight pioneering the new seats will be the Boeing 777 that flies to London this June. Although the QSuite seat won't be a feature on the airline's Boeing 787 or Airbus 380 planes due to problems of sizing, these aircraft will be fitted with a similar suite to provide flyers with total privacy.
"In this, our 20th year, I am proud to still be leading the industry in terms of innovation and ambition to ensure we continue to offer our passengers the absolute best in both product and service," said Mr Al Baker.
The carrier has a modern fleet of 194 aircraft flying to more than 150 destinations across six continents. It was named World's Best Business Class by Skytrax in 2016.