Qatar Airways is to introduce new economy class seating, though passengers are set for a long wait until they experience it.
While these seats and amenities are an improvement rather than a full-fledged evolution of the main-cabin experience, it is nice to see the airline focusing on making economy more comfortable for the majority of fliers.
The new seats will first appear on the airline’s forthcoming order of Airbus A321neos and A321LRs (LR stands for long range). The airline has 50 of these jets on order from Airbus, including 10 of the longer-range version.
The A321neo and A321LR will be deployed on several routes. These jets will replace older A320 family aircraft in the Qatar Airways fleet, and also take on some routes currently served by the A330. These jets will be used to fly to new destinations to Africa which are thin and intercontinental routes. These shall be destinations that do not really have the volume for a widebody aircraft.
Fliers can also expect to see the new seats on the airline’s order of 60 Boeing 777X’s, which should start rolling out in 2020.
The new seats have a semi-fixed back shell so passengers can recline the seat from the take-off and landing position of 6 degrees recline to a maximum 19 degree recline without causing problems for the passenger in the seat behind.
The seat will have new 13.3 inch 4K inflight entertainment screens and USB Type-C with fast charging capabilities.
Connectivity will also be improved, with “up to 10 times faster broadband, as well as more than 4,000 entertainment options on Qatar Airways’ Oryx One in-flight entertainment system.”