Qatar's Boeing 787-9, with all-new business class, will fly in 2021

When they begin flying, the longer-range Dreamliners will include an 'evolved' version of Qatar Airways' Qsuite business class.

By David Flynn , June 30 2020
Qatar's Boeing 787-9, with all-new business class, will fly in 2021

Qatar Airways expects its new Boeing 787-9s to take wing next year, and they’ll be crowned by a fully-private business class seat which the airline’s CEO describes as a “new variant” on its acclaimed Qsuite.

However, this Dreamliner Qsuite will be a different design to the Qsuite which adorns many of the Gulf carrier’s Airbus A350 and Boeing 777 jets.

Qatar Airways' highly-regarded Qsuite business class.
Qatar Airways' highly-regarded Qsuite business class.

“Because the Boeing 787 is narrower than the Boeing 777s and the Airbus 350s, we cannot really fit the Qsuites in," Qatar Airways Group CEO His Excellency Akbar Al Baker tells Executive Traveller.

There's not enough floorspace on the Boeing 787s for the original Qsuite design.
There's not enough floorspace on the Boeing 787s for the original Qsuite design.

Instead, Qatar Airway’s Boeing 787-9 business class suite will be similar to that of the current current Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, as well as the Airbus A380s and early A350-900s, which use the Super Diamond platform of Collins Aerospace.

Qatar Airways' Boeing 787-8 business class.
Qatar Airways' Boeing 787-8 business class.

“It will be a modified version of the 1-2-1 seat we have in the past, but that seat does not have full privacy, this one will have full privacy, with a sliding door,” Al Baker revealed.

He added that the Boeing 787-9 suites “will be similar to the Super Diamond, but it will not be by Collins.”

Combining a fully-flat bed, direct aisle access and plenty of personal space, Collins’ Super Diamond business class has over the years become a highly popular and reliable choice for airlines, and most recently was graced by the addition of a sliding door to create British Airways’ latest Club Suite.

The BA Club Suite gave Collins' Super Diamond seat a door, but this isn't quite what we will see on Qatar's Boeing 787-9.
The BA Club Suite gave Collins' Super Diamond seat a door, but this isn't quite what we will see on Qatar's Boeing 787-9.

Also read: First look – British Airways Airbus A350 Club Suite business class

Qatar Airways initially began working on this design – which some have dubbed Qsuite 2.0 – for the Airbus A380, as the pronounced wall curvature of the upper deck business class cabin ruled out the first-generation Qsuite.

With the superjumbos now due to retire between 2024 and 2028, they won’t be in line for that business class upgrade, which is now making its way to the Boeing 787-9s.

Late launch

Qatar Airways was set to pull back the curtains on the Dreamliner Qsuite at the opening day of the ITB Berlin travel trade show on Wednesday March 4, 2020.

However, the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic – which was at that stage taking a firm foothold in Europe – saw the travel expo cancelled.

Key traits of the unrevealed design were said to be at least 20% less weight than the original Qsuite, with the height of the suites and their sliding privacy doors reduced from the current 135cm (53 inches) based on passenger feedback.

The adjacent suites in the middle of the Boeing 787-9's business class cabin can still be joined to create a shared double suite and, if your travel partner is willing, a double bed.

Double beds will remain in Qatar Airways' Boeing 787-9 business suite layout.
Double beds will remain in Qatar Airways' Boeing 787-9 business suite layout.

However, unlike the Airbus A350 and Boeing 777 Qsuites, there's no option for four middle Qsuites to become a single over-sized 'quad space' suitable for families or colleagues.

The Dreamliner Qsuites will lose the ability to convert into a 'quad' of four suites.
The Dreamliner Qsuites will lose the ability to convert into a 'quad' of four suites.

Qatar Airways inked an order for 30 Boeing 787-9s, with seven handed over before the coronavirus pandemic put a sudden stop to the airline’s typically ambitious fleet growth and pushed all Airbus and Boeing deliveries back until at least 2022.

Al Baker said the plan for the Boeing 787-9 fleet would replace most of the older and smaller Boeing 787-8s, “which we will lease to other airlines,” as well as “some Airbus 330s.”

Qatar Airways has already picked up the keys to seven Boeing 787-9s.
Qatar Airways has already picked up the keys to seven Boeing 787-9s.

The airline plans “to reduce our emissions and have a carbon neutral growth over a period of time,” Al Baker told Executive Traveller, “so we are very keen to keep on introducing fuel efficient aeroplanes.”

In addition to these new business class suites, Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787-9s will sport the airline's latest economy class seat – created by Italian seat manufacturer Optimares, with a pre-recline of six degrees for take-off and landing and full recline of 19 degrees, along with a "semi-fixed back shell" to avoid encroaching on the space of the passenger behind.

Qatar Airways' latest economy class seat is also tipped for the Boeing 787-9.
Qatar Airways' latest economy class seat is also tipped for the Boeing 787-9.

Also on the cards is Qatar Airways' Super WiFi, which delivers basic broadband-grade speeds of 5+Mbps – a substantial boost compared to the inflight Internet service of most international jets.

Next on Qatar's business class playbook will be the ‘mini-Qsuite’ of its forthcoming Airbus A321neo and longer-range A321neo LR jets, due for delivery from 2022.

After this will come the first wave of Boeing 777-9s, for which Al Baker said “we are developing new business class seats”, with the possibility of a “very exclusive first class cabin” for some later Boeing 777X deliveries, which would ply a handful of premium-heavy European routes favoured by well-heeled Qatari travellers.

“We have huge demand here in Qatar to two or three European destinations” such as London and Paris, Al Baker explains, “so we may introduce a very small first class cabin for our local passengers who want a very exclusive first class product.”

Read more: Qatar Airways plans "exclusive" Boeing 777X first class suites

David

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.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 471

Didn't Boeing put the wrong seats into the first 2 deliveries and then had to fly them back to the factory for a refit?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 166

Appreciated, David. Many Thanks.

For 20+ years my team and I have flown globally for Business. Tomorrow, I doubt that will happen. There's no meat left on the bones and even my most generous clients have already warned me that my already 'global knife-sharp pencil' will need to be sharper.

04 Dec 2017

Total posts 56

Qatar Airways are a funny airline. Call centre, ground ops staff are a basket case. When things go wrong say 10 Hail Mary's and 10 Our Fathers and hope for the best. Customer service is basic, not able to communicate well nor comprehend issues and misinterpret them 7/10 times; thus trying to solve issues becomes painful. I wish there were contact details for an Australian based office with Australian staff handing issues. In the air however, it's a whole different airline...blissful and amazing. Not sure how they could have got themselves into such a polarised state. Fly them and enjoy them but just hope you don't need to make changes or any issues arise.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 May 2020

Total posts 6

Spot on. They have an Australian contact number I called recently but the staff seemed middle eastern to me, judging by the accent. I highly recommend contacting them through facebook. I was waiting to get my tickets swapped for a voucher. Nothing happened for almost 8 weeks, I messaged on Facebook, got a full refund approved in under 12 hours and money landed on my account 3 calendar days later and that includes weekend. I was also told that their office in Zagreb is really good and very efficient. I haven't tried it personally but maybe give it a go if you have an issue when we can fly again

17 Apr 2016

Total posts 15

Same here, terrible response to emails, no direct answers to questions raised. However, a reply in two hours on Messenger, refunds back in the bank within five days.

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 97

There's always the option to book using a travel agent who will handle the hard work for you in the end.

18 Jul 2019

Total posts 1

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 495

While the Q suite is perfectly fine and class leading I think Qatar could have save lots of money and spared us backward seats if they had only provided more privacy with a fuller wrap around shell in the herringbone seat.


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