Flying business class in Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 from Sydney
Qatar Airways begins Airbus A380 flights from Sydney this Friday September 16, adding a compelling new option for business travellers bound for Europe or the UK.
The Qatari flag-carrier joins Gulf neighbours Emirates and Etihad in flying the world's largest commercial airliner to Sydney – and as a member of the Oneworld alliance and thus a de facto Qantas partner, you can even use Qantas points to book your Qatar A380 flight.
Here's what you can look forward to.
One of the world's best business class seats
The A380's upper deck contains 48 spacious and well-appointed business class seats which we rate as among the world's best.
Naturally, they convert to a fully-flat bed – and with direct access to the aisle there's no need to step over a slumbering seatmate.
There's a pleasing amount of space around the seat and a few handy pockets to keep smaller items like books, tablets, reading glasses and inflight amenities close at hand.
If the seat looks familiar to you, that's with good reason: it's developed form the same model as Virgin Australia's new transcontinental and international business class (that 'foundation seat' is the Super Diamond from B/E Aerospace if you must know).
By any measure the business class on Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 is a significant upgrade from the older seats on the Boeing 777 with which Qatar launched the Doha-Sydney route in only March this year.
But at some stage you'll want to leave that cushy seat and make your way to...
The world's best inflight bar
A combined bar/lounge is nestled at the rear of the business class cabin, on the superjumbo's upper deck.
The curvaceous design incorporates sofa-style seating and elegant lighting.
It's the perfect place to break up the 14 hour trek between Sydney and Doha (or vice versa) and stretch your legs, catch up on some reading, share a drink and a chat with your travelling companions, or sample some light snacks if you're feeling peckish.
AusBT review: Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 lounge and bar
Enjoy superb meals
With renowned superchef Nobu Matsuhisa – yes, that Nobu – helping design Qatar Airways' business class fare, you're in for a treat.
The standard menu includes a half-dozen deliciously light options alongside more substantial mains.
And the entire menu is available throughout your flight, due to Qatar's 'dine on demand' approach – you can choose any dishes in any order and at any time.
There's a natural expectation from the crew that you'll tuck into dinner shortly after take-off, then hit the hay and wake for breakfast a few hours out of Doha.
But you're just as welcome to 'mix and match' from the menu to create your own bespoke light supper, do some work, then have a drink at the bar and come back for a main dish – or something lighter – before sleeping.
That's certainly not the ideal pattern for a long flight like this, especially when it leaves Sydney just before 10pm to land at Doha around 5.20am – but sometimes that's the only way to catch up with your work, and it's where you really appreciate the airline's flexible approach to dining.
Explore the amazing Doha business class lounge
Most Australian travellers on Qatar Airways are headed through to the UK or Europe, which means a stop-over at Doha's Hamad Airport before hopping onto their connecting flight.
And for business class travellers that means popping into Qatar's massive and undeniably impressive Al Mourjan business class lounge.
With seating for up to 1,000 guests there's no shortage of room – indeed, there's enough floor space to comfortably house 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools – and diversions range from five-star dining to foosball tables and an F1 racing simulator!
As the Sydney-Doha QR909 flight arrives into Doha at 5.20am, you'll probably want to start your day with breakfast at either the formal or casual dining rooms, choosing from an extensive a la carte menu...
.... then freshen up at one of the private shower suites and, if a long layover lies ahead, catch a nap on one of the day beds.
Alternatively, you can just wander around this expansive flagship lounge to find your own space until your flight is called.
AusBT review: Qatar Airways Al Mourjan business class lounge, Doha Hamad Airport
If you're stopping over in Doha, swing by the airline's little-known Arrivals Lounge for the private shower suites, a la carte dining room and dedicated business wing.
AusBT review: Qatar Airways arrivals lounge, Doha Airport
If you're headed on to London and want to continue the A380 experience, flight QR3 (which departs Doha around 8am) is a superjumbo on most days.
Of course, Qatar Airways has onwards flights to close to 40 other cities in the UK and Europe.
Qatar Airways flight QR909 departs Sydney at 9.50pm to reach Doha at 5.20am the following day; the return leg is wheels-up from the Qatari capital at 10.15pm, arriving into Sydney at 7.15pm.