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Qatar Airways to roll out new business class seats by mid-2016

Qatar Airways, which has gained reputation for providing high-end service to its customers, has recently announced to bring in drastic changes to its business class seating arrangement.

Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways, said that airline is planning to roll out new business class seats by mid-2016. He said that the new business class seating arrangement will in fact be “a first-class product sold as business class”. He however declined to reveal further details about the new business class product, but promised it to be “a substantial revolution”.

Qatar Airways is already working on plans to gradually phase out its first class seating across its fleet. The airline is now instead betting big on business class. According to Al Baker, the airline decided to bring revolutionary changes to its business class product after realizing that there were only few business class travelers who were ready to pay for the top-end product as of now. He also said that the full premium fare was also not paid by most first class passengers. This resulted in only 40 percent of seats being sold in first class.

Al Baker however said that some first class seating will continue on its Airbus A380 superjumbos. Qatar Airways has recently received its first Airbus A380 Dreamliner and is planning to grow its fleet to four Airbus A380 aircrafts by the end of 2014. In the next two years the airline is planning to include six more Airbus A380 aircrafts in its fleet. The airline will purchase more A380 aircrafts if they prove to be worthy enough.

The Airbus A380 aircrafts are being customized considering Qatar Airways’ requirements. The superjumbo will have a capacity to accommodate 517 passengers. The aircraft will also be featuring eight first class seats on the upper deck. Qatar Airways has announced it will launch its first A380 service to London Heathrow from its Doha hub from October 2014. The second A380 service will be to Paris later on.

Media reports also said that Qatar Airways has so far kept a studies silence over introducing premium economy seating, a trend which has recently caught up with several international carriers. The premium economy is considered cheaper than business class.

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