Qatar Airways Airbus A321neo business class will be a 'mini-Qsuite'

What's planned for the next generation of Qatar's Airbus A321neo business class?

By David Flynn, June 30 2020
Qatar Airways Airbus A321neo business class will be a 'mini-Qsuite'

Qatar Airways is pulling back the covers on its new Airbus A321neo and A321neo LR business class, even as deliveries of the jet itself are pushed back to 2022, with the Gulf carrier's CEO describing the seat as something akin to a single-aisle Qsuite – although without the sliding door.

"Every seat will have aisle access" and convert into a fully lie-lat bed, Qatar Airways Group CEO His Excellency Akbar Al Baker tells Executive Traveller.

However, unlike the highly-regarded Qsuites"they will not have doors", Al Baker says. "But they will have something very similar, so you will have some privacy."

Al Baker has previously indicated the seat itself will use an existing design from an established manufacturer rather than a fully bespoke effort – although travellers should still expect to see a heavily customised seat with high-quality fittings and finish plus plenty of small yet thoughtful touches when it comes to personal space, comfort and convenience.

The end result will be a step-change from the dated 2-2 business class of the Gulf carrier's workhorse Airbus A320 fleet, which the A321neo series will replace.

Qatar Airways' Airbus A320 business class.
Qatar Airways' Airbus A320 business class.

Qatar Airways has 40 Airbus A321neo jets on order, alongside ten of the extended-range A321neo LR models. Both were due to make their Doha debut this year, but "we have pushed that back, the first A321 will be delivered to us in 2022," Al Baker says.

Read more: Qatar Airways will take no new Airbus, Boeing deliveries until 2022

"All the aircraft that we were supposed to get from this year, have been pushed back from 2022 until 2030," he says, although "if of course we see there is a rebound, we may bring forward the deliveries of some of those aeroplanes."

The factory-fresh A321neos are intended as a like-for-like replacement for the ageing A320neos, with the LR models also earmarked for destinations with insufficient demand for a larger twin-aisle jets – a scenario that's likely to be increasingly common in the post-pandemic world where the coronavirus has sapped demand for air travel.

Also read: Qatar Airways plans "exclusive" Boeing 777X first class suites


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Sep 2017

Total posts 7

This is something Qantas should consider...A321's flying domestically with their suite!

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1102

It's all about real estate. QF would only consider a suite onboard a narrowbody if they could do it within the existing space with the same number of seats. Otherwise they have to increase the J fares to cover the Y seats they lose.

Given the average stage length flown by their 737s is under 2 hours and very few of them are doing red-eyes, it is hardly something they would see as a priority.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Nov 2018

Total posts 97

I agree with flyingcuggers

Qantas really should start looking at something other than the outdated 737.
Imagine flying across the Tasman or across Australia in something that was similar to the Qsuite. Being swapped from an A330 to an old chugger B737-8 makes me feel cheated out of my fare. Being swapped for a Qsuite...

Certainly the red roo 737 Business seats are not the best out there and an upgrade would be much appreciated. However we live a pray that we will never see the Euro "Business" seat model here. (aka row of 3 Y-class with an empty middle seat)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 98

Amen to that!


03 May 2013

Total posts 657

The 737 is the mini version of the 777; ultra loud and cramped. Both should be relegated to cargo and firefighting respectively. Bring on the A320NEO family.

16 Dec 2016

Total posts 47

VA's A330s aren't flying again and no new aircraft for Virgin for a long time.

You still have to climb over or have someone climb over you. That's the way of the past not the future.


20 Sep 2012

Total posts 72

Did you miss the reference to direct aisle access?

What a beautiful aeroplane Qatar, obviously Qatar have their heads screwed on correctly, not like Qantas and Virgin lol. Wonder which destinations Qatar will fly their Airbus A321 Neos.

So now with Virgin they will only be flying their crappy coal powered 737, what a joke.

Qarar own me money from my cancel trip on march 19, 2020 i call them and they treat me very bad, but i still hoping they can answer my petition


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1439

Qantas does have a bunch of A321XLRs on order to do long narrow routes such Adelaide-Singapore and presumably they will have a lie-flat business class seat.

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