Qatar Airways exploring Airbus A380 first class suite upgrades

By Chris Chamberlin , March 8 2017
Qatar Airways exploring Airbus A380 first class suite upgrades

Qatar Airways is rethinking the design of its flagship Airbus A380 first class suites following the unveiling of its new Qsuite business class product.

The Qsuite offers the highest levels of privacy with closing doors at each seat (pictured below): a feature not currently available in Qatar Airways first class, where you’d expect to find the airline’s most private and reserved space.

Speaking with Australian Business Traveller at ITB Berlin, the airline’s Group Chief Executive His Excellency Akbar Al Baker was confident in the future of first class with Qatar Airways, but was looking to see how it could be improved to better the business class experience.

“Qatar Airways is studying how to completely enclose that first class product,” Al Baker affirms, describing the current first class seat as only “semi-private”.

“However, we keep getting requests from passengers not to completely enclose (the first class seat) because they are very satisfied with the privacy they have in the product,” he continues.

The airline will retrofit its business class Qsuites across its entire fleet of aircraft by mid-to-late 2018, including the Airbus A380 superjumbos.

Australian Business Traveller is attending ITB Berlin as a guest of Qatar Airways.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 282

What do people here need privacy from?  My priorities in premium cabins are:  space, a good bed, F&B, and good service.  What don't you want to see of others, or for them to see of you?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 514

Err, it is not unusual for pax in J or F Class to be working on business proposals or documents, which many may consider to be confidential. Common sense dictates that some basic level of privacy is required. That is the reason why 'privacy dividers' are offered in most J / F cabins by airlines .. it's called satisfying customer demand.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2405

Also because people in the front cabin could be celebs or VIPs who don't want others gawking at them for the whole flight.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 514

.. although, as pointed out in Chris' article, Akbar Al Bakar continues to be 'sensitive' to the 'look at me' brigade up front that revel in their celebrity status and don't want too much privacy LOL. :-))

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 514

Good on Qatar Airways for their new J class product and the commitment to refit / redesign F on the A380. It appears that both Qatar and Etihad are providing the industry with a new design standard, which is finally coherent?

For quite a number of years, major legacy carriers have been divided on the question of F class. Some airlines have dropped it entirely, some offer it only on their premier routes or aircraft, and some doggedly hang on to F on all their fleet and routes.

With Business Class rapidly approaching the levels of First - and indeed with the emergence of Premium Economy, some rationalisation is overdue - but with so many divergent 'standards' appearing, many carriers seem reticent to make a decision.

Hopefully, the new Etihad First suite and the Qatar Business Q-Suite point the way to a defined standard by setting a new 'bar' in both classes.

I can see the sense in offering a 4 class product (F,J,PY and Y)  on large wide-bodies such as the A380, B747-8i and the B777-8/9. Not so necessary on smaller wide-bodies such as the A350-9/10, B787-9/10 or A330 series where a 3 Class product is generally acceptable to most on what are primarily regional routes. Perhaps, one benefit of QF's slow move to update their A380 fleet will be the ability to take such a cue from QR and EY.

It will also be immensely interesting to see how the 300lb elephant Emirates will react t QR and EY with the forthcoming EK redesigns?

QR777 with QSuite, or EK with 2-3-2 seating?
Erm?

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 518

Privacy is great when families invade F (or J) with a few under 5's thus destroying the experience for everyone else when they well know their kids prob won't be the little obedient example.

Eli
Eli

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 97

Exactly!! We've all been there, watching these untrained kids terrorize the cabin and our ears.


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