Qatar Airways will soon start flying Boeing 787-9s, which will feature an all new business class product that’s different than the popular Qsuites product. There has been a lot of speculation about what kind of product will be offered, and it looks like we now know.
Qatar Airways’ new 787-9 business class seat
Head for Points has a fantastic scoop of what’s allegedly Qatar Airways’ new business class seat. According to reports, Qatar Airways will install Adient Ascent seats with doors on its Boeing 787-9 fleet, and you can find a rendering below.
Allegedly Qatar Airways’ new business class seat
As you can see, the colors are clearly customized for Qatar Airways, and this also more or less matches the description we had been given about what to expect, including:
- Seats with doors
- A reverse herringbone configuration (though in reality in this configuration the center seats are actually herringbone)
- The ability to turn center seats into a double bed
- That the seats won’t be produced by Collins Aerospace
Check, check, check, check!
What is the Adient Ascent business class seat?
We’ve known about the Adient Ascent product for quite a while, though the seat was only finally certified for use earlier this year (which would also explain why there has been such a delay with getting these seats into service).
Many of us first heard about these seats over two years ago, as Hawaiian Airlines announced plans to install them on 787-9s. Furthermore, American Airlines is allegedly considering the Adient Ascent product as its new business class seat.
Rendering of Hawaiian Airlines’ Adient Ascent seat, with a double bed
This seating product is unique for one simple reason — it’s so highly customizable, so it can be radically different for every airline. Here’s a video showing the various options for these types of seats:
Most business class products can be customized somewhat, but have a general pattern. After all, what differentiates seat types from one another are the space saving techniques that seat manufacturers use to make the cabin efficient.
In the case of the Adient Ascent seat, it’s customizable unlike any other product out there:
- The product could come in a staggered configuration, with the potential to turn center seats into double beds
- The product could come in a hybrid reverse herringbone and herringbone configuration, with reverse herringbone seats along the windows, and herringbone seats in the center; this is similar to Virgin Atlantic’s new A350 Upper Class, though those seats are the Safran Cirrus NG variety
Below is a screenshot from the video that shows just how customizable the product is.
Adient Ascent seats are highly customizable
Below is a screenshot showing the hybrid reverse herringbone and herringbone configuration, which seems to be what Qatar Airways is planning.
Potential Adient Ascent configuration
Why isn’t Qatar Airways installing Qsuites on 787-9s?
Why is Qatar Airways introducing a new business class product, rather than installing Qsuites, on Boeing 787-9s? The reason is because the fuselage of the 787 is a bit narrower than of the A350 and 777, and allegedly the 787 cabin isn’t wide enough to have four Qsuites per row. The 787 cabin is only a few inches narrower than the A350 cabin, which is why this might come as a surprise to some.
On top of that, Qatar Airways was hoping to reduce the weight of the seats, and I guess this product will help the airline accomplish this.
My take on Qatar Airways’ Adient Ascent seats
Qatar Airways’ current Qsuites business class is exceptional, arguably the best business class product out there. I don’t think many of us are necessarily expecting the new product to be better.
That being said, based on what I’ve seen so far about the Adient Ascent product, I’m impressed. This seems to me like an upgrade over any other business class product out there, perhaps with the exception of All Nippon Airways’ new business class.
This product has most of the benefits of reverse herringbone seats, the ability to have doors is awesome, and the herringbone seats in the center section allow for double beds, which many people will appreciate.
Qatar Airways’ current Qsuites business class
While there has been no official confirmation from the airline yet, it more or less seems like a sure bet that Qatar Airways’ new business class seat will be the Adient Ascent product.
No airlines are offering this product yet, so I can’t speak firsthand to the quality of the seat. However, by all accounts this seems to be an excellent product based on what we know, in terms of privacy, the ability to have a double bed, etc.
I can’t wait to fly Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787-9s, and see how these business class seats compare to Qsuites, and in particular to see the thoughtful ways that Qatar Airways customized the product.
What do you make of Qatar Airways’ alleged new business class seat?