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Private jet feel: Qatar Airways believes in first class again and is developing a new class

Private jet feel: Qatar Airways believes in first class again and is developing a new class

Former President Akbar Al Baker always rejected first class. The new president of Qatar Airways sees it differently. He wants to buy new planes from Airbus or Boeing.

Badr Al Meer promised a new era with less stringent rules and a “culture of confidence and self-empowerment” when he took office in November 2023. He succeeds Qatar Airways’ new president, Akbar Al Baker, who has called for strict rules such as curfews for crew. There has also been much criticism of the way employees are treated, Especially female employees. But it's not just company culture that needs to change.

As Al Meer revealed to CNBC, he is also reversing a decision on the cabin product that dates back to the early days: Qatar Airways will focus more on first class again in the future. In fact, Al Baker abandoned the concept after the airline introduced a business class suite called the Q Suite. But Al-Meer now hopes to achieve high returns from the new product.

Private jet feeling

“We have always focused on two compartments, economy and business,” says Al Meer. “However, given the demand in certain segments, we feel that there will always be very high demand for first class.” The concept of first class has been increasingly pushed aside. “But in the last few months I decided we needed to introduce a new first-class cabin. Especially if we grounded the A380.”

There is currently still first class on the airline's Airbus A380 aircraft. Al-Meer did not reveal the types of aircraft for which the new cabin will be developed. But the new seats should offer more than the first class currently available on Qatar Airways and its competitors, according to the airline's president. “We want to combine the experience of flying commercially and flying in a private jet and develop something new.”

Just work out the details

Al-Mir said: We have come a long way indeed. The development is 70 to 80 percent complete. “We are only working on the colors and small details, but we hope to announce the product very soon.”