Revealed: Qatar Airways’ New 787-9 Business Class

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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

Bottom line

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?

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  1. mjonis

    Dumb question, but if the new planes don't allow for 4 qsuites in a row, then doesn't that mean if they put 4 other seats in a row that something has to give? (more narrow walkway or more narrow seating, or both)?

  2. Ben L.

    Man, I do not care for that video at all. They chose a very visually disruptive way to transition between different renderings.

  3. Creditcrunch

    I wonder if VS will choose this seat for their B789’s and the new orders of the A339, as they are not retrofitting the 787 with the new A350 upper seat.

  4. Jeremy

    One thing I don't understand. QR have been flying the 787-9 some months now. Quite often to Paris. What was installed in those?

  5. AT

    Jeremy I believe those are mostly cargo flights. The J cabin has no seats.

    Also it's amazing that the 789 cabin is only a few inches narrower than the A350 yet the Q-suites can't fit-- couldn't they have narrowed the aisle or the side component by the seat?

    I assume the 789s will fly to shorter and/or less 'prestigious' destinations than the A350s, so the full Q-suite won't be necessary. Doe anyone know the inaugural route(s)?

  6. Nnaeto

    Inaugural routes start In June:

    https://twitter.com/theaeronetwork/status/1389818833943240708?s=20

    Qatar Airways once again filed 787-9 (C30Y281) passenger flights, scheduled from 24JUN21:

    * eff 24JUN21 Milan Malpensa
    * eff 01JUL21 Madrid
    * eff 02JUL21 Athens
    * eff 03JUL21 Kuala Lumpur
    * eff 14SEP21 Manchester (until 12OCT21)

    Other destinations: Islamabad, Karachi, Riyadh

  7. W

    @AT - I believe the A350 already has tighter aisles than the 777 in Qsuites. The side console to the seat is also the foot cubby for another seat, so shortening that would also require reducing the width of the seats, which I assume QR isn't willing to do.

    I look at it like this: There are 8 foot cubbies in a row in the Qsuites configuration in comparison to the cabin width (2...

    @AT - I believe the A350 already has tighter aisles than the 777 in Qsuites. The side console to the seat is also the foot cubby for another seat, so shortening that would also require reducing the width of the seats, which I assume QR isn't willing to do.

    I look at it like this: There are 8 foot cubbies in a row in the Qsuites configuration in comparison to the cabin width (2 rows face one another). British Airways is able to fit 8 abreast Club World seats per row on the 777. On the 787 however, BA only has 7 seats per row, for the same logic. If Qatar could fit their Qsuites on the 787, then I'm sure BA would have 8 abreast in Club World on the 787 as well ;)

  8. Bruce

    @AT As far as inaugural routes are concerned, Executive Traveller reported several weeks ago that Qatar had accidentally listed their 787-9 on some routes on their website, these being Athens, Milan and possibly Madrid, which they took down a couple hours later. It would be my guess that those may be the first routes to get the 787-9. I’m also assuming that they’ll begin by taking the more prestigious and demand heavy of their current...

    @AT As far as inaugural routes are concerned, Executive Traveller reported several weeks ago that Qatar had accidentally listed their 787-9 on some routes on their website, these being Athens, Milan and possibly Madrid, which they took down a couple hours later. It would be my guess that those may be the first routes to get the 787-9. I’m also assuming that they’ll begin by taking the more prestigious and demand heavy of their current 787-8 and A350-900 routes in Europe primarily, then Southeast Asia and possibly Africa as well.

  9. PaulS

    I cant really work out how 2 seats in herring bone (i.e. both facing outwards) could join to form a square bed. Will the seats swivel or will there be a joining piece in the middle? \\ //

  10. Scott

    That Adient video is horrible. I watched the whole thing and still have no clue what it is. It just left me with a very anxious feeling from all the fast transitions and unnecessary graphical effects.

  11. Chuck Lesker

    "Dumb question, but if the new planes don’t allow for 4 qsuites in a row, then doesn’t that mean if they put 4 other seats in a row that something has to give? (more narrow walkway or more narrow seating, or both)?"

    In Q-suites, seats in alternate rows are shifted sideways (your legs go below the side table of the person in front of you, while your side table is directly behind that person's seat)....

    "Dumb question, but if the new planes don’t allow for 4 qsuites in a row, then doesn’t that mean if they put 4 other seats in a row that something has to give? (more narrow walkway or more narrow seating, or both)?"

    In Q-suites, seats in alternate rows are shifted sideways (your legs go below the side table of the person in front of you, while your side table is directly behind that person's seat). So it is not really 1-2-1, more like 2-4-2 in terms of seat widths.

    With the herringbone configuration, the width taken by a "seat" is again more than the width of the actual seat because it is angled, but the angle can be chosen to fit the cabin width. This leaves a sort-of-triangular space, rather than a rectangular space, for the side table.

    CX uses the same layout, but without doors. QR's big thing is the illusion of privacy, and they still have that here.

  12. JL

    How disappointing.
    These seats don't look that good frankly.

  13. Vito

    Can’t see it as an advantage any way you spin it. Still looks good, but certainly not in the same league as ANA’s Fusio Seats or QSuites. Probably worse even then Apex Suites...

  14. Eric

    I haven't seen many reviews of people using the "double bed." How comfortable is that, actually? Even if traveling with my spouse, when we'd sit in the middle to be together, I feel like it would still be more comfortable to have our own bed. Maybe it's better than I think though?

  15. Chris

    It's really disappointing, so they will never have a consistent product.

    Qatar was so proud of their qsuite who is DA BEST ever experience in Business class (aka Al Baker), and suddenly it's no more a priority...

    Covid era.

    @Ben L.
    I agree this video transition is a joke, I just stopped to watch.

  16. Randel

    Those seats, and the configurations look terrible. The video was also absurdly unhelpful

  17. glenn t

    Agree with @Scott! What a dreadful video~ can extract more info from the few stills above.
    Background music is also rubbish.
    Way to waste a ton of money.
    Epic FAIL.

  18. schar

    so awful. if i were the ceo it'd be qsuites or nothing. why bother with the new plane if u cant have qsuites. bad move

  19. Timo

    God the music in that video hurt my brain cells!

  20. Dan

    @PaulS. I've been struggling with that too. Seems to me it could only become a double if installed in the yellow configuration shown in the still from the video. But the Qatar rendering is in the red formation shown and I can't see how it could pivot to come together as the foot of the bed would need to go through the seat in front.

  21. Nnaeto

    @schar and that's part of the reason you're not the CEO

  22. Mikey002

    What an annoying video! I couldn't concentrate on anything shown and I refuse to watch it again to try and make any sense out of it. I guess someone actually got paid to produce it. Haha.

  23. Claus

    If there are two tall passenger, it is literally head to head. Don’t like that at all.

  24. Mark

    @Claus

    if a tall person is flying alone, they can sit in the window seat. This configuration looks good for couples flying together.

  25. Cecil Qsuites

    Qsuites or never what a waste with rubbish music

  26. Alan Murdock

    I'm 6'4 and I've never had a bad experience with space or legroom on Qatar. Always quite exceptional. I don't expect this to change

Featured Comments Load all 26 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Alan Murdock

I'm 6'4 and I've never had a bad experience with space or legroom on Qatar. Always quite exceptional. I don't expect this to change

Cecil Qsuites

Qsuites or never what a waste with rubbish music

Mark

@Claus if a tall person is flying alone, they can sit in the window seat. This configuration looks good for couples flying together.

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