PHOTO TOUR: inside Qatar Airways' Boeing 787 Dreamliner

By John Walton, July 26 2012
PHOTO TOUR: inside Qatar Airways' Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Qatar Airways' Boeing 787 Dreamliner's new business and economy seats are generating a lot of comment.

Qatar is the first airline to use this fully flat business class seat with direct aisle access, so join us for a photo tour of the new beds -- plus the new economy seats down the back of the Dreamliner.

AusBT contributor David Parker Brown (who also runs got up close and personal with the seats at the 2012 Farnborough Airshow, and shared these photos with us.

Turning towards the pointy end of the plane you'll find business class. It's set up in a 1-2-1 layout with direct aisle access for everyone on board.

Like just about every modern airliner, Boeing's 787 has LED overhead lighting that's a big improvement on the fluorescent tubes used in older planes.

And it's not just about the accent lighting: waking up gently with a slowly brightening, sunrise-hued cabin is much more pleasant than the single flick-to-glaring lights we remember from older jets. 

Angling towards the windows (or centre dividers, which you can raise or lower depending on whether you want to interact with the person next to you), each seat is private and spacious, with cleverly designed multi-level storage and work surfaces.

The 22-inch (56 cm) seat reclines to a fully flat 80 inches (203 cm), with your feet sliding underneath the monitor. The armrest also slides down so you have a wider sleeping area.

With the centre divider down, you can share ideas with colleagues or spend some quality time with a +1 over dinner, or use the large work table to put the final touches to a slide deck on your laptop.

Naturally, there's a full power point for keeping your electronics charged so you can hit the ground running.

Qatar's elegant place setting certainly seems more first class than business class, and so does the extra-large inflight entertainment monitor.

Further back in the economy, Qatar has gone for the narrower option of a nine-across 3-3-3 layout, which means that each seat is narrower than Boeing's other option, an eight-across 2-4-2 configuration.

These seats are narrow, even for economy. On the plus side, there's lots of overhead space with Boeing's Sky Interior retractable bins.

The front rows are obviously ones seats to pick with their generous legroom.

A massive entertainment screen -- with its own Android phone-sized touchscreen controller -- might take your mind off the tight elbow-room.

Boeing's extra-large 787 Dreamliner windows are a benefit for the window seat seat passenger (and anyone trying to peer past them for a glimpse of what's outside).

Like all 787s, Qatar's also has the electronically dimming controls that black out just about all the light from outside.

Also in AusBT's Boeing 787 Dreamliner coverage:

Or try one of our great and gawk-worthy AusBT photo tours:
John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 526

The Business Class seats look interesting... but I actually don't like having the screen sitting there directly in front of me the whole time and having to slide under it to go to sleep. It seems a little claustophobic to me.

I think the CX seats are a better option to these one's.

i believe the 2-4-2 configuration is 8 across, not 10 (as you said in the article)

overall though, a good plane. cant wait to fly on a QANTAS (although they will probably all go to jetstar) one, one day!

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 665

Thanks for spotting that one! (Yes, honest, I can add...)

bad news about the 787-9 in qantas livery! one day i hope


19 Dec 2011

Total posts 49

depending on the comfort of the seats I prefer the new CX seats still. Just did a number of trips last week on them and they were fantastic with what seems like a lot more privacy than these. Yet this layout seems to be the winning formula for business with isle access for all & decent privacy.

10 Jun 2011

Total posts 56

Thanks for great pics and detail on QR 787, the business class definitely looks very impressive and well thought out.

Its very disappointing to hear that QR are going down that route of adding an additional seat in Y class to every row, so 9 on the 787 versus 8,just adding to the list of carriers that are now doing that.  

A lot of business travellers travel in economy, not by choice but driven by company travel policy and such cramped conditions are unacceptable for any passenger.  I hope they have retained their very good legroom

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jul 2012

Total posts 1

Very sexy! A refreshing change from the garish deep burgundy, although I think the pink should be a slightly lighter hue. I don't know much about the width of the Dreamliner, but Emirates squeezes in 3-4-3 in Economy (narrower seats I know, but fine if you're not overweight) in return for more legroom. What's the legroom in Economy like? I'd much rather narrower seats for more legroom any day. 

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