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In a schedule update that took place over the weekend, Qatar Airways added Qsuites service to its Cape Town route and, in a less noticeable alteration to its schedule, the airline also made an interesting change to the aircraft with which it operates its route between Doha and Atlanta.
As things stand, Qatar Airways offers a daily service between Doha and Atlanta using its Airbus A350-900 aircraft but, unfortunately for Atlanta flyers, this particular aircraft isn’t one which has been reconfigured with the Qsuites cabin, so flyers have to make do with the regular all-aisle-access product (which is still excellent).
This weekend’s update has seen Qatar Airways schedule a Boeing 777-200LR to take over from the A350 from 27 October 2019 and, although the seat map for the 777-200LR shows a very old-fashioned 2-2-2 cabin layout…
…I’m not sure this tells the full story.
Here are two key facts:
1 – Qatar Airways only has 9 Boeing 777-200LR aircraft in its fleet and, of late, it has been refitting these aircraft with the new Qsuite Business Class product (which is why routes to Los Angeles, Auckland, and Buenos Aires now offer Qsuites cabins).
2 – Atlanta is a highly politically charged destination for Qatar Airways because it’s the home of Delta (the airline which frequently talks nonsense about Qatar Airways expansion and often begs the US government to place flyer-unfriendly restrictions on the Middle Eastern carrier).
With those two things in mind, I’m not convinced that the 777-200LR seat map we’re currently seeing in the schedules will be the actual seat map on offer once the route starts up on 27 October.
With Qatar Airways undoubtedly wanting to look its best at the home of its arch-enemy (Delta), I’m finding it hard to believe that it would really go from offering a very good 1-2-1 all-aisle-access Business Class cabin to an out-of-date 2-2-2 cabin layout on its route to Atlanta.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the 777-200LR that is being added to the Doha – Atlanta route will have been refitted with a Qsuites Business Class cabin by the time 27 October comes around. Or, if it doesn’t have a Qsuite cabin by then, it will have one not long thereafter.
What do you think?