Qatar Airways is confident that its business-class experience will be sufficient to meet the demands of discerning passengers.
Qatar Airways has announced that its upcoming long-haul aircraft will not include first-class cabins, according to CEO Akbar Al Baker.
Al Baker argued during an interview in Istanbul that the investment in luxurious seats did not justify the returns, as the airline’s business-class already provides similar amenities.
The decision deviates from the industry trend of airlines, including Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Qantas Airways, and Air France, enhancing their high-end offerings.
Al Baker also questioned the necessity of investing in a subclass of an aircraft that already offers all the perks found in first class. He expressed confidence in Qatar Airways’ business class, known as the “Q-suite” product, as being sufficient to meet passengers’ needs.
While eliminating first class on long-haul routes poses some risks, as it contradicts Qatar Airways’ five-star image and goes against the strategies of other airlines, Al Baker remains optimistic about the future of business class.
On Qatar Airways’ future Boeing Co 777X aircraft, first-class seating will not be available. These aircraft will become the largest in the airline’s fleet once it retires its remaining 10 Airbus SE A380s, which currently feature eight first-class seats.
Over time, cabin classes have become more flexible, with premium economy being introduced between business and economy seats. First class has often been perceived as a novelty reserved for corporate clients’ top executives or for individuals seeking a unique travel experience.
Qatar Airways’ decision to remove first class from its forthcoming long-haul aircraft marks a departure from the traditional concept of luxury air travel.
The airline believes that its business class can adequately meet passengers’ requirements, challenging the notion that first class is the ultimate in luxury.