Qatar Airways has decided to not install their famous Qsuites onboard their A380 fleet, as they plan on retiring the aircraft in the next five years.
This is a shame as the Qsuite is an exceptional business product. Not only that, but with the room and space available on an A380, Qatar could have done something really special with the suites.
What are the details?
According to Australian Business Traveller, Qatar as opted to not renovate their A380 fleet and thus not bring the legendary Qsuite to the aircraft class. Qatar currently has 10 A380s, but is phasing them out once they start taking delivery of their Boeing 777X-9s.
The airline has 50 777Xs on order, and expects to be able to retire the A380 within the next five years. Speaking to Australian Business Traveller, Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker said,
“We feel that the aircraft does not have very long future in Qatar Airways’ fleet. We would think about retiring those airplanes on their 10th anniversary, unless something untoward happens and we need them.”
In 2020, the first of the Qatar A380s will turn 10 years old. It is likely that Qatar will either scrap the aircraft or sell it on, potentially to a leasing company like Hi Fly.
What happened to the plans to upgrade the A380?
Originally, Qatar planned to have the Qsuite installed on its A380 fleet by 2020. The product would have to be modified to take advantage of the additional space onboard, as well as a factor in the increased curvature of the A380 fuselage.
“We cannot put the Qsuite on the upper deck of the A380 because of curvature of the fuselage,” said Al Baker to Australian Business Traveller last year.
To compensate, Qatar planned on creating a new 1-2-1 configured business class seat especially for the A380. This would bring the best features from the Qsuites, but without the quad layout that opens into a four-way social space.
Alas, these plans have turned to dust and Qatar will not be following through with them.
What about the new Boeing 777X Qsuites?
Qatar has 50 Boeing 777X-9 aircraft on order, with the first to be delivered in 2020.
They will have a new Qsuite design onboard, one that is remarkably lighter to help save on fuel costs.
“These [current Qsuite] seats are not very light – we always endeavor to have a product that is lighter on an airplane,” Al Baker said to Australian Business Traveller. “The modified Qsuite that we are now looking at for the 777x will be at least 22% lighter than the current Qsuite.”
The new configuration of the 777X has yet to be released by Qatar.
What do you think? Do you think Qatar should have upgraded their A380s with the new Qsuite business class product?