Qatar Airways’ Qsuite is widely regarded as the benchmark for international business class, but a new wave of seat designs and jet deliveries are set to challenge the Qsuite for its dominance of the skies.
Lufthansa is offering greater degrees of passenger convenience with its Allegris business class, while Japan Airlines is set to reveal what it promises will be an “unprecedented” product for the factory-fresh JAL A350-1000s.
Also on the runway: Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 777 Aria business class will take wing in Q2 2024, while speculation swirls over a new business class for Singapore Airlines’ ultra-long range Airbus A350s.
In response, Qatar Airways is now developing a second-generation of the Qsuite, dubbed Qsuite Phase 2 or simply Qsuite 2, which Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker promises will create “a revolution of how people travel in business class.”
“The product design is being produced now, but the airline will not reveal it until the widebody planes equipped with it arrive,” Al Baker tells Forbes.
And this new Qsuite business class is shaping up to be so good that Qatar Airways has axed plans for first class suites at the pointy end of the plane.
Qatar Airways’ Qsuite Phase 2 business class
The evolution of this Qsuite Phase 2 began some years ago, when Qatar Airways had its eye on new deliveries of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
“We were developing a Qsuite for the 787 but unfortunately the manufacturer defaulted in supplying us the seat,” Al Baker previously told Executive Traveller.
This led to the Dreamliners making their debut with a very different seat: one supplied by Adient Aerospace, a joint venture between auto seat maker Adient and Boeing, which will soon also be seen on Hawaiian Airlines’ own Boeing 787-9s.
“We had to move very quickly, and with Adient being a subsidiary of Boeing, we managed for them to supply us something that they could very quickly give it to us, nearly off the shelf seat with only minor modifications.”
While those Boeing 787 business class seats also sport a door, the evolution of the true Qsuite continues behind closed (business class) doors.
Al Baker has described this to a Executive Traveller as “a huge enhancement of the current Qsuite, because people now are all booking on QR because of the Qsuite, it's a brand that is now really known to everybody.”
Al Baker said the drive to continue refining the product and raising the bar has to be done “because we are in a very competitive industry.”
Given that the Boeing 777X series – which begins with the 777-9, a success or the best-selling 777-300 family – isn’t due to arrive until at least 2024, it’s not yet known if this Qsuite 2 might first appear on the next tranche of Airbus A350 deliveries, which includes 23 additional A350-1000s.