Qatar Airways’ eagerly awaited new business class seat will be unveiled at ITB Berlin in March.
Talking to Business Traveller at the unveiling of plans for the new concourse F at Doha’s Hamad International airport, HE Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive Qatar Airways Group said of the new seat:
“It will be across the fleet in B777s and A350s, and we have a new seat development for the B787s as this new seat can’t fit in the 787,” he said.
The airline will receive 23 planes this year, all widebodies, and its eighth of 10 A380s is due to be delivered in the next few weeks.
The carrier’s network will grow by 15 destinations in 2017/18, and Al Baker remains confident despite weakening demand and low oil prices.
“With the kind of product we offer, we will continue to generate demand.”
Hamad International Airport is to press ahead with an expansion plan which will see a new Concourse F added to the existing terminal, swelling capacity to 65 million passengers annually.
Al Baker said it has formed a steering committee with a view to completing it “as soon as possible”.
“The terminal was designed for expansion as we grow the airline and this is what we will do,” he said, adding that it recently received an application from two more Indian carriers.
He said the expansion will be put out to public tender “to internationally contracted parties”. Foster + Partners is handling the designs.
The airport handled 30 million passengers in 2015, around 48 million less than Dubai, which is the world’s largest airport for international passenger traffic.
HIA features 12 lounges, novel leisure facilities such as a pool and squash court, smart tech features, premium-branded duty free and cultural tie-ups with Qatar Museums.
Al Baker also highlighted the airport’s efficiency, calming nature and ability to contribute “to the overall journey”. He said it is now rolling out new biometric-friendly e-gates (cards are free to over 18 residents and there are chip-reading passports too).