Updated on August 20th with statement from Qatar Airways.
Passengers booked to fly in the economy cabin of Qatar Airways‘ 777 fleet may soon find themselves feeling squeezed in a smaller seat.
The national carrier has announced that most of its Boeing 777 fleet will soon be fitted with 10 seats per row in the economy cabin, instead of the current nine. The move reduces the width of each seat by almost two inches, to 17 inches across.
In a statement sent to Business Traveller, Qatar Airways confirmed that all new 777 orders will be 10 across in economy.
It also said that it will fit out all of its existing fleet of 28 B777-300ER aircraft with the new layout by the end of next year.
However, nine of its 777 fleet – the B777-200LRs – will remain nine-across, it said. These aircraft have a longer range than the airline’s 777-300s and are usually used on the longer routes in the airline’s network, like São Paolo in Brazil and southern US destinations like Houston in Texas.
Qatar Airways’ 37 Boeing 777s fly the airline’s long-haul routes to the USA, Australia, Japan and China, medium haul routes like London, and shorter regional trips to Bahrain, Dubai and cities in Saudi Arabia.
Qatar Airways is the last of the big three Gulf airlines to decide to adopt the 10-across seat configuration in economy.
Both Etihad and Emirates already solely offer 10 across seating on their 777s, giving passengers around 17 inches of seat width versus Qatar Airways’ 9-across width of 18.9.
Although the extra seat per row will disappoint many travelers, many industry analysts said the move makes financial sense.
In a recent article, Alex McWhirter, consumer editor of Business Traveller, explained why:
“It’s simply because Doha’s national airline cannot afford to see its Gulf rivals have a cost advantage. By going 10-across, the airline’s B777-300ERs can accommodate an additional 23 economy class passengers per flight. It means that on a busy service to Europe, the carrier can garner many hundreds of pounds in additional revenue.”
In its statement, however, Qatar Airways said it had decided to add the extra seating in the economy cabin due to “ever-increasing passenger demand across a range of Qatar Airways routes coupled with new developments in slimline seating.”
Though Qatar’s Boeing 777s are destined for increased capacity, the airline seems to be retaining its relatively comfortable seating arrangements for the Airbus A380 superjumbo and the Airbus A350.
The former gives economy passengers a seat width of 18.5 inches, and the latter 18 inches.
Ten-across seating does however bring the 777 fleet in line with the Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which at 17.2 inches offers one of the smallest economy seats of all 787 operating airlines.
Are you booked to fly on a Qatar Airways 777 soon? Thoughts?
Why does this make me think of certain Queen song about a certain type of something that “makes the rocking world go round”? Thanks @dohanews for putting that song in my head!
Thank God I never travell at the back of the plane, it just gets worse for passengers. I guess it would be ok if they did this on the Asian and Far East routes as the people tend to be smaller than Americans or Europeans so fit easily into the seats.
Meanwhile somewhere in the real world…..
Trolls would go in the cargo hold I imagine
Aren’t they already making more money from the lower cost of operation due to the falling price of fuel?
Plus Qatar Airways needs to change the cushioning of their seats. Both economy and business classes are very well used and hard to sit on. I’ve recently traveled on-board a QA 777 and and Indonesian Air Garuda 777, and the Indonesian seats beat Qatar Airways by leaps.
but greediness is a terrible vice to curb …
Well they need to start rethinking their prices if they are going to cut down on space then cut down on prices.. it’s disgusting enough being on top of each other in economy without another one to add to it..
I traveled at the same plane (777-300) last week, I noticed that the offer only economy and first class! while the plane is made for economy and business class.. and the seats is the same as business class on other planes they operate, so they charge you extra money to print for you a first class ticket, while in real you are traveling in the business class
“More Money Less Comfort” should be QA new Tagline 😀
Sadly I cannot afford business or first class 🙁 and on my last QA journey I found myself on the A330 with a very large man in front of me who felt the need to put his seat so far back he was practically in my lap. And I couldn’t even complain. Should have just kicked his chair for 6hrs to even out the inconvenience.
The weird thing about cost cutting is that (from the numerous apple computers everywhere and the forced tv advert on the plane detailing how great hamad international is) I thought they had lots of money to burn. hmmm
If it’s frowned upon to recline your chair, then why are we given the option to do so.
Kind of like why your car will do 200km/h but is illegal in reality.
So it’s illegal to recline your chair? Big difference. If I’m on a 6 hour flight there is no way I’m staying in the upright position. I don’t expect the person in front of me or the person behind me to stay upright either.
How about having a bit of courtesy and not trying to make it a lie flat seat. Don’t take things so literal.
I always go for furthest seat in the back because then I can recline without bothering anyone!
add me to the “disappointed” group. For all of my recent travel I have done price comparisons and Qatar Airways is consistently the most expensive. Yet the service levels and comfort seem to be diminishing. I remember when they used to give you a hot towel to freshen up, now you get a wet wipe, if I’m going to pay a couple of thousand Riyals more I’d expect something more than the competition, yet a recent flight to the Philippines via Etihad was equal to or better than QA, but QR1,900 cheaper……. squeeze one more seat in there and I’m taking the cheaper option everytime
Ahh the hot towels. Add that to the list along with how Gold members used to get access to the Al Mourjan Lounge, and now they don’t. And how champagne was served free in economy, and now it isn’t. And how redeeming QMiles for flights and upgrades was simple and almost always approved, and now it’s impossible.
It’s all part of the diminishing passenger comfort experience we have to tolerate with Qatar Airways. If I’m travelling east I’ll take Cathay over Qatar any day, and I still get to earn One World miles.
Luxury airlines in promo and ads and budget Airlines in reality with a 7star fare
Its not just about the price. I am a larger person. By that I do not mean my midsection. At nearly 2 meters tall, 90 kilos and with shoulders over 22 inches wide, sitting in the 18 inch seats already means that my arms extended beyond the seat. This means, if I am in the aisle seat, everything and everyone that moves from carts, to kids, to bags, to jerks, hits me in the arm or sometimes the face. The middle seat is a nonstarter as my wide shoulders and long arms end up in the other passengers seating areas. So the window is the only option. Then the leg room is barely enough that I can put my feet forward, and if the person reclines their seat without me noticing, it usually crushes my knees, painfully I might add. This is worse on the Airbus planes versus the Boeing as the seats seem to be closer. Add to this that some genius decided to put touch (or in some languages bash) screens on the seat back. So now I get the constant bang, bang, bang on the seat. Unlike some people commenting here (MIMH) I have a real job that requires lots of flying, and I work for a company that understands how to make money, so flying everywhere business class is not an option. And because even if you are a million miler Platinum level passenger on Qatar Airways, they would rather the seats up front go empty or have falcons in them than upgrade your frequent customers. Honestly, I look forward to giving my business to someone else.
i do agree with you. me and my wife and my 1 year old kid were not offered bassinet seat on a recent QA flight this year. they told us the flight was full and you have to talk with the staff on board to get a bassinet seat. same reply at the gates. we get on board and none of the passengers want to move. Surprisingly QA decided to put all the young people including single people & couples without children in the bassinet seats. i asked the staff how this can be as all airlines are supposed to at least give a bassinet seat to a mother and 1 year child.
Anyway our seats were separate and nobody wanted to adjust i was at the back of the aircraft my wife and kid somewhere in the middle. just after the on board dinner the idiot sitting in front of my wife decided to recline his seat. my wife had asked the staff, repeatedly, to clear the dinner tray so that she can sit properly with the kid. they never took it away and when the guy reclined his chair the tray hit my kid in chest and the entire tray fell onto the my kid and wife. suffice to say there was a lot of repeated apologies from staff and the idiot in front. fortunately nothing happened to my son he stopped crying and just fell asleep. i told them that this would be my last QA flight. because i just hated them their behavior and their attitude.
Also QA has this thing about not letting passengers choose their seats online if the flight is full. this was the third time this happened this year even after letting them know about it and also showing them on my mobile using their app. they still say go online and select.
QA has been the biggest con going for quite some time. And isn’t it funny how they will not let certain National carriers fly straight here. Come on QA, either cut your fares or allow other airlines to fly direct
FYI, other airlines are allowed to fly direct if they can pay for HIA. “Other airlines” don’t think it’s feasible to start a DOHA route. You’re frustration about this issue has nothing to do with QA.
Absolute Rot – explain to me then why QA has put on additional routes to UK in the last 12 months and to another destination – which brings it to a total of 3 different airports to one country alone. And a grand total of 9 flights a day!! Tell me, is this the action of a business that does not think this is a worthwhile place to fly to (and be is said they run a business class only flight to LHR)? Also FYI, the manchester bound flight is always, (repeated for emphasis) always full, regardless of the time of year I fly.
Turbohampster summed it up in his comment.
Ehhh, they are cancelling this Business Class Only flight to LHR because it is not feasible to continue!!!
Seriously? So there is no direct British Airways flight between Doha and London (total of 224 seats on their Boeing 777) because it’s not “feasible” for them? But Qatar Airways can fly 6 daily flights including 2 A380s (1034 seats total) some 777s (up to 380 seats each depending on configuration) etc and that is feasible?
I fail to understand how BA couldn’t operate a daily direct service (or two) and not be able to fill it profitably, when Qatar Airways is operating about 10x the capacity. The only other possible explanation is that Qatar Airways *isn’t* operating profitably on their London routes.
Don’t forget that 90% of pax on the QR flights from LHR to DOH aren’t actually flying to DOH! They go on connecting flights to their ultimate destinations, so if they didn’t fly QR they never would have flown to DOH in the first place.
I’m not saying QR doesn’t have preferable rates, but it doesn’t make sense for any other airline to run the amount of flights to DOH as QR. Except prob EK, EY & GF between DOH, DXB, AUH & BAH respectively
I can get on a British Airways flight in Abu Dhabi (BA072) and travel non stop to London.
I can get on a choice of British Airways flights in Dubai (BA106 & BA108) and travel non stop to London.
But for some reason I can’t get on a British Airways flight in Doha and travel non stop to London.
Maybe Dubai is serviced by twice daily non stop British Airways services – a Boeing 747 and a Boeing 777 – is because Dubai lacks a well connect global airline that can connect London with global hubs to the East?
“Maybe Dubai is serviced by twice daily non stop British Airways services – a Boeing 747 and a Boeing 777 – is because Dubai lacks a well connect global airline that can connect London with global hubs to the East?”
Sorry I don’t really get your point..
Dubai is serviced twice daily because it is actually quite a popular holiday destination in the UK.
Now how many people come on holiday to Doha, from the UK??
BA can obviously fill a 747 & a 777 with enough people each day travelling from LHR to DXB as obviously you would be mad to fly BA and then connect to another destination with a different airline.
Now you have obviously have travelled between LHR & DOH on QR, how many of those pax actually get off and stay in DOH?
I travel this route at least once a month and its so few people that when you take the arrival lane at the arrival gate the staff shout at you thinking your going the wrong way! Next time you fly QR from London just have a look around at the boarding gate and count how many people have the blue tags on their hand luggage!
in 2011 when me and my wife returned from switzerland on QR we were the ONLY passengers who had exited at doha airport everyone else was in transit. at that time we both felt very strange & surprised seeing only our bags going around on the belt and nobody else around because our flight from geneva was full!
nowadays i’m not even surprised.
What about the million tourists a year QTA states……. Hahahahahahaha
Well if they are adding seats which makes it less comfortable, they should be reducing their price. I usually didn’t mind paying the extra money to fly Qatar because of the extra space it offers compared to other airlines.
but if this is the case, I’m just going to save my money and fly another airline. If I have to be uncomfortable I mines well do it at a cheaper price.
I agree with you, especially with small children. But now mine are a little older, guess what, I am happy to spend an hour or so at Frankfurt/Amsterdam etc when the flights are at least half the price. Same Qatar tale, most things here are an absolute rip off.
I think they charge you more cause of the direct flights factor not cause of the seat width.
have you seen how cheap qatar airways is?!?!
(when not flying to/from Qatar)
And in other news the number of seats in first and business classes will be reduced and the personal space increased to allow for upgraded seating and in-flight entertainment systems. QA hopes that this will stop complaints about their narrow lie flat beds on overnight flights. The loss in revenue from these classes will be offset by the increase in the number of seats in economy. QA are considering reducing the number of toilets available to economy class passengers in order to provide spa facilities for those in the upper classes.
This is exactly what Western liberal capitalism is 🙂
errr no, the way the state owned QA behaves and is treated, is not in the mould of western liberal capitalism. it is more in the mould of a state controlled Monopoly
Well at least that is the way it is happening in many Western countries around the world. Capitalism today means you cut the budget for the popular services used by the working and middle class and give tax breaks and other incentives to the 1%. The image of the business/first class being upgraded on the expense of the economy class is a true analogy of that capitalism.
Not when it comes to flying. The ‘model’ most profitable carriers in the US are the populist ones that cater to a broader market–like Jetblue and Southwest.
Its all about the margins! So in contrast to the comments above, see who makes the money…. http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2014/09/sevem-u-s-carriers-among-the-worlds-most-profitable-airlines.html/
Oh how I wish economics was taught properly. Nothing you stated is capitalism. Capitalism is an economic system that allows free markets to decide services. What you are talking about is cronyism where corrupt politicians in either democratic or even autocratic states create measures to benefit themselves and their ilk. Please take some time to understand that capitalism and communism are not the same as democracy and socialism. These are too often confused and blended together. Despite popular rhetoric there is not an evil bored meeting in companies plotting to screw the little guy. It’s just plan old accounting at play. An airline makes its money (QA being an exception as it is propped up by the state) on cargo and passengers per flight. All this is, is the realisation that you can’t compete and win by selling first class seats. The rest of the world is already there, here they are just now figuring it out. Please, send your diploma back to wherever it was purchased, you got ripped off.
Sounds good to me. I hope they implement it. Nothing bothers me more than when someone from economy tries to sneak up the front and use the toilets….
in a recent QA flight to india the two out of three toilets in economy had doors that wouldn’t lock. one of the doors wouldn’t shut fully (it was stuck) and the other had no lock and the door would just fall open. so you can guess the frustration when people wanted to use the toilets and had to wait in line. they wouldn’t even allow the women with children to use the other toilets at front even when told it was emergency.
Guess this was the other option….
Yet the fuel-surcharge that was implemented when the oil price reached $120 /barrel is still being charged….?
Market correction takes time.
Yeah, only when it’s downwards 🙂 They are always quick to increase the prices not so much to reduce.
QA is been bleeding money and all those billions of dollars it cost to set up initially has to be paid for by someone. What better way than fleecing your home market as they know most people want to fly direct, especially if you have kids.
I flew on the BA dream liner from SA to London-very comfortable in economy with nice comfy chair and great tv screen-so I really looked forward to flying on the Qatar airways dream
Inner qatar to SA-big disappointment-the seats and tv seemed much smaller and food less nice. One good thing though-usual ticket Qatar-Sa is QR5400-but for this Sept I got a ticket for QR3770 and in Nov for QR4100! So one can get specials-just got to keep looking and of course not at peak times-thu the Sept one is at Eid time!
So what is different about the world’s first five star airline as compared to ROTW. I think more space on economy flights is a better marketing tool than providing hot meals.
QA should reduce the fare as a result and to compete more 🙂
Another valid reason to fly Emirates ONLY!!!
Qatar Airways is so expensive and serves sloppy disgusting food. It’s not the amazing airline that tries to buy this kind of image!
Emirates has more comfortable seats, better food, better routes and the amazing last minute deals to upgrade for little to business….why would you fly QA?
Qatar airways is an excellent airline – their long haul offering on 777 has for long been a factor to reckon with – more seat width & length, good entertainment, good service, amneties pack and silver cutlery has lead to many people opting for Qatar airways economy travel even when prices were higher (and considering their a direct carrier) it denoted quality BUT if they render an additional 23 seats (which makes sense economically to improve the revenue per seat kilometer) then they need to understand they have aligned themselves with their competition. Then this five star airline will be no different (to it’s competitor’s) when customers choose To travel.
Spot the QR employee!