We may be halfway through a busy year in the business travel world, but three leading airlines have yet to roll out their latest and greatest seats for high flyers. Here's a look at what's ahead.
Qatar Airways Qsuite
What: Qatar Airways' extraordinary Qsuite business class suites include sliding doors for privacy...
... middle seats which convert into a double bed...
... and even allow two sets of middle seats to be opened up into a somewhat shared space for four friendly flyers.
Qatar Airways says this 'super business class' seat will make first class obsolete on all but selected flagship aircraft such as the Airbus A380.
When: A factory-fresh Boeing 777-300ER will be the first jet sporting the Qsuites, which will debut on flights between Doha and London in June 2017.
What's next: The Oneworld member and de facto Qantas partner will upgrade all its Boeing 777s and Airbus A350s to the Qsuites, with modified versions of the design bound for the Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A380 superjumbos... meaning that we'll eventually see the Qsuites in Australian skies as each aircraft type is refitted and rostered onto our routes.
Delta Air Lines Delta One
What: Delta Air Lines is also raising the bar for business class on its new Airbus A350s with first-like suites.
Based on an upscale version of the same Thompson Vantage XL seat adopted by Qantas for its Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Delta One suites feature privacy doors to cocoon travellers in their own space...
... complete with roomy stowage compartments for shoes, headphones and laptops, benches to comfortably spread out your work, and an 18-inch HD video screen with AC and USB power sockets.
When: Delta's first A350 this week began test flights at Airbus' A350 factory in Toulouse, France, ahead of an expected delivery to the airline in late July.
What's next: Delta hasn't revealed which routes will be first to see the A350 and its snazzy suites but a spokeswoman for Delta Air Lines confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that the Airbus A350s "will be used on some Asia Pacific routes" – a set which includes Sydney, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
An upgrade of Delta's Boeing 777 fleet, which currently includes Sydney, will follow through to 2020.
Singapore Airlines new A380 business class
What: Singapore Airlines' decade-old Airbus A380 fleet is getting a refresh, with new superjumbo jets launching all-new designs for SQ's first class suites (which are being relocated to the upper deck) and business class seats.
Expected to springboard from today's Boeing 777-300ER 'Next Generation' business class (above), which Singapore Airlines launched in July 2013, the new seats have already been showcased to selected top-tier KrisFlyer travellers to fine-tune more practical aspects of the design.
(This same business class seat will also appear on a new ultra-long range version of the Airbus A350 due in late 2018, which Singapore Airlines will use to restart non-stop flights from Singapore to Los Angeles, New York and a third as-yet-unnamed US destination.)
When: The first of five new A380s is slated for delivery in October 2017 and will mark the 10th anniversary of the Airbus A380's first commercial flight, although there's a bit of flex in that timetable. Singapore Airlines has previously tipped the inaugural flight and first regular route will be Singapore-Sydney.
What's next: Singapore-London is likely to be the next hero route for the new A380s.