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Qatar's center cabin Qsuites for families and foursomes[/caption]
Qatar has pulled back the curtains on a large, flexible cube shaped business class product that can be turned into a double bed or a private cabin for four, at the ITB travel show in Berlin.
But, but, but. What has it started? Will groups of four Masters of the Universe talk loudly all night in the otherwise nearly silent cabin of an Airbus A350? Will couples do what they will with each other in more private circumstances?
So many questions, so few answers, but it is without doubt, a major innovation in premium long travel, and the ripple effect among the Doha based airlines' competitors, including Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines and Qantas, will undoubtedly drive some interesting responses.
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The double bed option for the Qsuites[/caption]
The Qatar Qsuite as its called will be applied only to its Airbus A350-1000s, and some of its 350-900s, and various Boeing 777s. Its 787s and A380s are 'wrong sized' for the versatile spacious cubes used in this new product, but will get their own innovations in the medium term according to reports from ITB.
The most detailed and quizzical of those reports is on the Runway Girl Network
. Qatar's blockbuster comes as the airline pays more attention to the Australian and New Zealand markets having recently started epic non-stop 777-200LR flights between Auckland and Doha, and announcing it will start Canberra flights sometime soon, although with a peculiar 'via-Sydney' leg on the outbound flights to its Middle East hub.
Emirates and Singapore Airlines have already said they will have brand new cabins in all classes in their A380 flagships in the immediate future, and Qantas recently confirmed that it will also renew its cabins on its A380s.
Needless to say, the largest by far part of the air travel market, which flies economy, awaits further news about its fate in this grand contest for the top dollars by the top airlines. Emirates is considered a certainty to release a premium economy cabin soon, and Qatar is shy about confirming or denying whether it has similar intentions.
That leaves unanswered, however, the tough questions about standard economy products, which in some aircraft and on certain routes, appear in general to be in the process of being further downgraded in terms of legroom and hiproom.