Qatar Airways has unveiled new Business Class seats and Economy Class seats for its Boeing 787s at the International Travel Bourse in Berlin, as well as a revamped in-flight entertainment (IFE) system which will feature in the airline’s new aircraft type.
Doha-based Qatar Airways has 30 Boeing 787-8s on order and 30 more optioned. It is due to induct its first Dreamliner into its fleet this summer.
Qatar Airways’ new Boeing 787-8s will feature a total of 254 seats in two-class configuration, 22 seats in Business Class and 232 in Economy.
Every seat throughout the aircraft will have a touch-screen Android technology control unit, the design making its debut on Qatar Airways’ 787s. Passengers will be able to navigate by means of a smartphone-like, interactive system which offers more than 1,000 movie, TV, music and gaming entertainment options in a user-friendly way.
The touch-screen control unit has a unique dual screen interface, allowing passengers to play games on their handheld devices while enjoying movies on their seats’ personal IFE screens.
Passengers can be fully connected through in-flight Wi-Fi and GSM telephony, allowing text and MMS messages to be sent and received. Although Qatar Airways’ 787 in-flight communications system theoretically would allow voice calls, voice calling will be disabled within the aircraft to minimize passenger disruption.
With a 1-2-1 seat-row configuration in its 787 Business Class cabins, the cabin lay-out features two less seats than competitors on conventional widebody aircraft. According to Qatar Airways, the cabin lay-out is more typical of a First Class cabin, where each passenger is assured of direct aisle access. The seats have been designed exclusively for Qatar Airways.
The Qatar Airways 787 Business Class seat offers a 22-inch wide armchair that converts at a touch of a button into different cradle positions before reclining fully into a generous 80-inch long, 30-inch wide flat bed.
Armrests can be fully adjusted to different heights to complement different body positions while dining, reading, working or resting. Each seat also features a wood-trimmed, large sliding table to allow passengers to dine and work comfortably.
When dining begins, passengers can easily rest their laptops on the side table. Each seat also has ample storage space, including a show drawer and side compartment, for personal belongings. The 787 Business Class seats, produced by B/E Aerospace, also feature 17-inch personal touch-screen TV monitors.
In Economy Class, where each seat row is in configured 3-3-3, the Recaro-produced seats embody the latest in design technology and materials.
With 7 inches of recline, both the seat cushion and backrest adjust to ‘cradle’ the passenger into greater comfort. The slim-line seat design is set at a pitch of 32 inches and is 16.9 inches wide. Each seat has a hammock-style headrest, which support passengers’ heads while they are resting.
Each Economy Class seat is fitted with a 10.6-inch seat-back TV monitor, offering passengers a wide array of in-flight entertainment options.
With Wi-Fi and GSM telephony options, all passengers throughout the aircraft can always be in touch with the ground during their flights. Every seat has a personal power port, which is equipped with USB, MP3 and other charger ports, including a laptop power outlet.
USB ports enable holiday pictures from digital cameras to be viewed on the personal screens, while iPort connectors enable iPod and iPhone content to be displayed on passengers’ IFE screens.
“Space, comfort and ensuring our passengers have the best onboard entertainment options are key elements of our new Boeing 787s, promising to set new benchmarks in air travel,” Akbar Al Baker, chief executive officer of Qatar Airways, said at ITB Berlin. “Qatar Airways has taken a lot of time and effort in ensuring we are true leaders in the field rather than followers, meticulously working with manufacturers on specific seat design and features.”
Qatar Airways will be the first Middle East customer to take delivery of a Boeing 787. The Doha-based airline is preparing to take delivery of five 787s during 2012, with the first set to arrive in Qatar this summer.
The carrier will initially operate the aircraft on intra-Gulf routes to provide flight crew with training hours before Qatar Airways’ 787 is scheduled to appear on static display at the Farnborough Air Show in July and then enter its first long-haul commercial service on the Doha-London Heathrow route.
The design of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is designed to allow customers to arrive at their destinations feeling less fatigued and more refreshed. Air pressure in the 787 cabin is 2,000 feet closer to ground level than in previous widebody types, making it easier for passengers to breathe, and the air purification system provides cleaner and healthier air than in some other aircraft.
Dynamic mood lighting throughout the aircraft helps passengers adjust their body clocks according to changes in time zones. The lighting is automatically altered during the flight.
The 787 is quieter inside than many other aircraft. It also features the largest cabin windows in the industry and replaces conventional window blinds with piezo-electronic circuits in the windows which allow them to be darkened and brightened by means of passenger-operated touch-pad controls. As a result, says Qatar Airways, the 787 lets passengers look outside without glare.
Business Class passengers will be able to control the large window shades through their personal touch screen control units.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 105 aircraft from its Doha hub to 112 business and leisure travel destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
As part of its 2012 expansion program, the airline recently launched flights to the European capital cities of Tbilisi in Georgia and Baku in Azerbaijan.
The Doha-based carrier will begin scheduled flights to a further seven destinations this year – Kigali (Rwanda) from March 21; Zagreb (Croatia) from May 9; Perth (Australia) from July 3; and Mombasa (Kenya), Zanzibar (Tanzania), Helsinki (Finland), and Gassim (Saudi Arabia), on service-launch dates which are yet to be announced.