'Super-business class' takes off on Qatar Airways

'Super-business class' takes off on Qatar Airways
It's chocks away in the ostentatious battle for the most elite, super-swanky flight experience, as airlines reveal their new designs.
2 min read
12 Mar, 2016
The airline hopes to close the gap between business and first class [Getty]
A new "super-business class" offering "non-claustrophobic semi-privacy", is set to be launched on Qatar's national airline.

The upgraded business class will be incorporated into the newly built Boeing 777-300ER aircrafts before being installed across Qatar Airways' fleet at the end of this year.

"I really feel that private suites become a bit claustrophobic, so when we are designing our new business class product we are making sure it is not claustrophobic," Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker told the Australian Business Traveller.

"So we have decided to go for semi-privacy, in the cabin concept people slide the two doors and it becomes a cabin. It is already semi-closed and then it becomes fully closed, because people want additional privacy when they are sleeping."

The airline, which is attempting to close the gap between business and first class, announced it would now only offer first class on its A380 carriers.

However, al-Baker suggested the new cabin "will, frankly, be first class at a business class fare".

The move is expected to rival the airline's regional competitor, Emirates, which is widely expected soon to reveal its new, fully-flat, beds.

But al-Baker assured his design was exclusive to Qatar Airways and suggested "the seat designer will not be able to (offer) this product to anybody else" due to the company's patent protection.

While Qatar Airways has built a reputation for luxury among the clouds, back on earth it has faced repeated criticism for its alleged treatment of cabin crew - reportedly tightly controlling where staff may live, with whom they meet and at what times.

But Doha's flag-carrier said claims in a report by the UN's International Labor Organization were addressed last year, as the company relaxed its rules on staff ahead of a massive planned expansion.