In March, Qatar unveiled their long-promised ‘super business class’ product, which they called QSuites. It features suites with doors in a 1-2-1 configuration, with half the seats being forward-facing and half rear-facing. While Delta beat Qatar to the punch when they unveiled their new fully-enclosed business class seat, to be introduced on the Airbus A350, Qatar really went over the top with their seat design. While Delta’s looked like a standard seat with a door attached, Qatar’s looked hugely more spacious and came with some really unique features, including two seats in the center section being connected into a double bed of sorts and the ability for four people seated in two sets of center seats to dine facing one another.
When the product was first announced, Qatar put out a very optimistic schedule for when the first aircraft configured with these seats would be in service. Given how long it took for Qatar to even get around to unveiling this new product, having the first aircraft in service and operating commercial flights by June as they stated seemed, perhaps, a little unrealistic.
However, per this thread on Flyertalk, Qatar is already having their first aircraft configured with the new seat. A 777-300ER registered A7-BED was flown to Zurich on April 24th to be fitted with the new seats. Reconigurations will be performed by SR Technic, a Swiss company specializing in aircraft maintenance.
It’s unclear how long this process will take, but I wouldn’t be holding my breath for the first aircraft with the new seats to be flying ASAP. Cabin reconfigurations typically take several days, but when they’re being performed for the first time it’s ordinary for them to take longer than that. Even if it does take a week or two, as I expect, it seems awesome that Qatar will likely beat their own very optimistic-sounding deadline.