Qatar Airways Adding 787-8 Dreamliners To More Routes

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In an aircraft swap that’s great news for those flying in Business Class but bad news for those flying in the Economy cabin, Qatar Airways has scheduled 787-8 Dreamliner service on two more of its long-haul routes.

The latest routes to get the Dreamliner treatment are Doha/Hong Kong and Doha/Ho Chi Minh & Phnom Penh and these will see the Airbus A330-200s (that operate the routes) replaced with Qatar Airways’ new 787.

qatar-airways-787-8-tony-hisgettQatar Airways 787-8 – Image courtesy of Tony Hisgett via Flickr

Doha – Hong Kong

Both of Qatar Airways’ daily flights between Doha and Hong Kong are currently served by Airbus A330-200s but, as of 30/31 October 2016, both will be replaced by 787-8 Dreamliners.

The schedules are as follows:

QR640 DOH 02:55 – 15:35 HKG
QR816 DOH 08:45 – 21:25 HKG

QR815 HKG 00:35 – 05:15 DOH
QR645 HKG 18:35 – 23:15 DOH

Doha – Ho Chi Minh – Phnom Penh

This route will be getting the 787-8 Dreamliner sooner than Hong Kong with the current schedule showing the A330-200s being relived of duty on 1 June 2016.

The schedule for the single daily flight is as follows:

QR970 DOH 02:15 – 13:50 SGN 14:50 – 15:40 PNH
QR971 PNH 17:30 – 18:30 SGN 19:30 – 22:35 DOH

Changes To Expect

I was surprised to find out that Qatar Airways doesn’t fly a First Class cabin to Hong Kong – the A33-200 on both the above routes are 2-class aircraft – so the absence of a First Class cabin in the 787-8 Dreamliner won’t make any difference.

The Good News

If you’re flying in Business Class you’ll love this aircraft swap. The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner comes equipped with Qatar Airways’ new Business Class cabin which is one of the best in the sky:

qatar-airways-787-8-dreamliner - 2Qatar Airways 787-8 Dreamliner Business Class – Courtesy of Qatar Airways

qatar-airways-787-8-dreamliner - 3Qatar Airways 787-8 Dreamliner Business Class – Courtesy of Qatar Airways

qatar-airways-787-8-dreamliner - 1Qatar Airways 787-8 Dreamliner Business Class – Courtesy of Qatar Airways

The improvements over the A330-200 should be very noticeable. The older aircraft has angle-flat seats just 20″ wide while the new 787 offers 180 degree lie-flat seating with seats 22″ wide and a seat pitch that is a massive 20″ greater than in the A330-200.

This is a serious and impressive upgrade for those traveling in the front cabin on these two routes.

The Bad News

As a rough rule of thumb, the older the aircraft cabins are the more room there will be in the Economy Class cabin….an this rule holds true in this case.

The older Airbus A330-200 has Economy Class seats that are 17.5″ wide and with a seat pitch of 32″ while the newer 787-8 Dreamliner is decidedly more cramped with seats 17″ wide and with just 31″ of pitch.

qatar-airways-787-8-dreamliner - 5Qatar Airways 787-8 Dreamliner Economy Class – Courtesy of Qatar Airways

Those differences may seem small, subtle and or insignificant but, when you’re seated in those seats for a good length of time, every little bit of extra space makes a difference. Still, at least Economy Class gets nice new personal screens….

qatar-airways-787-8-dreamliner - 6Qatar Airways 787-8 Dreamliner Economy Class – Courtesy of Qatar Airways

Bottom Line

Apologies to the Economy Class flyers but I’m going to focus on the good news for those booking Business Class. This is really good news for those flying these routes in the premium cabin and is especially good news for anyone picking up cheap Business Class tickets from Europe to Asia via Doha.

Qatar Airways regularly has amazing Business Class fares from various European cities (I do my best to keep up with them on the Airfare Deals page) and, normally, you have to be careful not to accidentally book yourself on to a route with an old angled-flat Business Class seat. Now we have two less routes to worry about 🙂