Qatar Airways Delays Super Business Class Product

For a while now, Qatar Airways has been teasing their “Super Business Class” product. The airline’s CEO Akbar Al Baker said that the product would make First Class obsolete, and that it’s basically “first class at a business class fare.” The product was set to be unveiled by the end of the year, but it looks like delivery delays is postponing the launch. Via Doha News, the Super Business Class product will instead be unveiled in March 2017, during the ITB trade show in Berlin.

One Mile at a Time reported that Baker made the claim of a Super Business Class way back in January 2015. The CEO was on record saying that their then-current (still…somewhat current) Business Class product “will be obsolete by 2016.”

Qatar Airways Business Class A330. Photo by Pyonko Omeyama, used with permission.

Qatar Airways Business Class A330. Photo by Pyonko Omeyama, used with permission.

The irony, of course, is that Qatar Airways still has a good number of planes with super obsolete Business Class product. To be fair, Qatar is aggressively improving their offerings, and their A350 have a solid business class product. They are also expanding quickly, and has just recently placed a huge order with Boeing.

Qatar Airways Business Class A350. Qatar Airways/Flickr super business class

Qatar Airways Business Class A350. Qatar Airways/Flickr

Qatar has been affected by “delivery delays” before, most notably their Doha-Auckland route (the airline also cited another reason for the delay, which was to show respect to Emirates). I don’t doubt that they truly have something in the works, and I’m anxious to see what the Super Business Class looks like. But I have to wonder whether this is truly a delivery delay, or the product was simply prematurely announced. Qatar’s CEO is known for pompous statements, and I think we may have been some time away from any substantial launch when he first made the comment.

Regardless, the Super Business Class is said to provide “semi-privacy,” with individual doors and double bed for middle seats. I look forward to (hopefully) seeing them in 2017!

Comments

  1. Not sure what QR’s B787 and A350 fleet could upgrade to, other than F-type “cabins” akin to LH’s F offering since these planes already offer state-of-the-art 1-2-1 pods. However, the B777 and A333 fleets are in real need of refurbishing and it is likely the former will get something like BA and UA are putting in, which maintains a high density 2-4-2 but gives aisle access to window and middle/middle centre bank seats. The latter are more likely to see the A350 treatment (or phased out completely) since the cabin is not wide enough to take the same 777 seats/arrangement. But also suspect there’s an issue with financing such a massive upgrade. With its rapid expansion of routes, and uber-cheap business fares, along with the depletion of Gulf Emirates’ reserves, money is tight in the region after the Saudi’s launched their oil war on high-cost North American producers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *