Photos: inside Qatar's all-business class Airbus A319 for Doha-London

Photos: inside Qatar's all-business class Airbus A319 for Doha-London

Qatar Airways will launch a new all-business class service between Doha and London in May this year, and we've got the first photos from inside Qatar's special 'all premium' Airbus A319 jet.

The daily shuttle will seat 40 passengers in a 2-2- layout, with Qatar boasting the seats "have one of the highest specifications for business class travel of any airline."

Each passenger gets in-seat entertainment plus AC laptop power, of course, with inflight mobile phone access – although there's no mention of satellite Internet.

The seats themselves recline to a fully-flat bed. 

In all, Qatar suggests its A319 "is sure to reflect that of a VIP jet experience for those traveling between London and Doha."

Travellers also enjoy access to Qatar's Premium lounge in London Heathrow’s T4 (below) plus the Premium Terminal in Doha.

Qatar's description of the Terminal 4 lounge as more closely resembling "a boutique hotel or private member's club rather than a conventional airport lounge" fits in perfectly with the A319's VIP vibe.

See: Video tour & photos – Qatar Airway's luxe London Heathrow lounge

Qatar is definitely on a roll this year, with its first three Airbus A380s arriving in June and an early delivery on the cards for the new Airbus A350, for which Qatar is the global launch airline.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker will also cut the ribbon at the Doha’s new Hamad International Airport, which will become Qatar's new home when it finally opens around the middle of this year.

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

13 comments

  • Alvin Tse

    074061

    19 Feb, 2014 01:59 am

    It probably won't last long IMHO - neither HX or SQ or other all-premium routes lasted and I don't suspect that this one will either. It's a great cabin design though, well done Qatar, but there needs to be a little more thought into the route to make it more significant, especially when there are already other flights by QR between DOH and LHR.

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  • Guy Betsy

    Guy Betsy

    19 Feb, 2014 02:40 am

    Honestly having a 2-2 seating in close proximity to your neighbour is not a good idea. One sat by the window must do the high jump to climb over their neighbour if one needs to use the restroom. Why couldn't QR have learnt from their OW counterpart , AA, and created a 1-1 staggered seating for their premium cabin. Then everyone will have aisle and window acess.

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  • jamessanders

    jamessanders

    19 Feb, 2014 05:12 am

    Actually these seats are exactly the same as what AA (and United) use as business on their JFK-LAX/SFO flights which are also mid haul flights. AA only uses 1-1 arrangement for their mid-haul first class cabin. 

    These seats are quite comfortable but it is tricky to get out of the window seat.

    Definitely want to be in the first row of each cabin as they have MUCH wider footrests.

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  • Serg

    Serg

    19 Feb, 2014 08:16 am

    I curious as well – supposedly premium service, so why not staggered? Design readily available and it quite possible to fit more seats, not less. Bizarre.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    19 Feb, 2014 06:29 am

    Interesting sector for this type of service...quite interesting...

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  • Hugo

    Hugo

    19 Feb, 2014 09:33 am

    I don't see the advantage over normal long-haul business class. Is it super-frequent? Nope. Does it fly into London City? Nope. Is it more comfortable than regular business class? Doesn't look like it. It's just an opportunity to fly business class and still wind up in the last row of an A319 with some small-bladdered bozo climbing over you to get to the toilet.

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  • Serg

    Serg

    19 Feb, 2014 10:30 am

    Hugo, while I agree in general with your comment please do not forger huge advantages offered by biz only services like this. Major one is superfast boarding and disembarking – small plane, fewer pax make it far faster. For the same reason baggage may be expected quicker than from jumbo like A380. For the same money I would definitely choose biz-only. But despite it been said that airlines making money only on biz and first (BTW I personally do not believe this, as least because many ridding off first altogether), such services somehow not that popular. So I do not believe in commercial success – may be London – New York or London – Singapore, but London –Doha unlikely. Lets see.

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  • Al Glidden

    AlG

    19 Feb, 2014 10:30 am

    Very well said, Hugo. London City is a great airport for the business traveller, although most of their trips from City are more likely to be quick hops across the Channel into Europe rather than the eight hour haul to Doha. And those seats don't look especially amazing. I'll be very curious to see how well this service is going six months down the track!

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  • Oliver menkens

    ollie117

    19 Feb, 2014 10:02 am

    hopefully this service will work for them unlike singapores 340 500 program good  luck QR 

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  • MartinS

    MartinS

    19 Feb, 2014 10:08 am

    This doesn't seem to be a particularly efficient use of valuable Heathrow slots. Could it be that QR had the opportunity to acquire the slots and wanted to grab them now, but currently demand doesn't justify another A330/B7777/B787 on the route. They need to utilise the slots otherwise they'll lose them, so why not trial a new offering in the market that does not add too much capacity. LHR has strong J demand, so it should be comparatively low risk.

    I would have thought that this type of aircraft would be more suited to routes with lower frequency, where the market won't support a great deal of new Y capacity, but QR needs to offer a better spread of departure times for J passengers.

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  • KG

    KG

    19 Feb, 2014 03:11 pm

    Wonder if they will put one of their A380's on the LHR route and what will happen with the capacity. If anything it should drive down prices for J seats if QR is trying to fill them all!

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  • johnaboxall

    johnaboxall

    19 Feb, 2014 11:10 am

    Good luck to them. It's an interesting showcase effort. If they can make the service break even, it takes money "off the table" that would have gone to the competition and possibly increase sales to the rest of their network. 

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  • Alex_upgrade

    alex_upgrade77

    19 Feb, 2014 10:28 pm

    Interesting comments from everyone. 

    An additional point is the lack of consistency in QR's J class product. It's very different to the impressive 787 J product and a slight step up from their less exciting 777 J class.

    Why do airlines insist on introducing several types of J class product under what's meant to be a single brand?

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23 Oct, 2018 11:23 pm

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