Qatar Airways has unveiled its new economy class, the centerpiece of which is a seat with what the airline describes as “an innovative 19° recline system”. The seat model is the Quadra from Optimares, which has a pre-recline of 6° and enables the 19° recline using a linked mechanism that moves both the seat pan and the pivot center of the backrest forward and slightly down. What this means is that while the seat has a generous recline, when the seat cushion slides forward, it actually frees up space for the passenger behind.
The airline will be fitting the seat across its fleet, both narrow-body and wide-body. During the development program for Quadra, Optimares tested the seat in the Airbus A380 mockup center and made several refinements to the design. According to Optimares, an interesting finding from the tests is that passengers perceive that Quadra provides about 35% more space than conventional recliner seats.
The sculpted seatback opens up knee space, while its bi-fold meal table is large enough to accommodate another new Qatar Airways feature: the Quisine meal service, with 25% larger main courses, 20% larger appetizers, 50% larger desserts, and more menu options than the current offer.
The star of the seatback is the 13.3in 4K widescreen IFE display, on which passengers can choose from more than 4,000 entertainment options on the Oryx One system. The airline also chose some seat options, including an adjustable headrest that can be folded to provide more head support, a fold-down cocktail table, and a type ‘C’ fast-charging USB port.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, said that the seat proves the airline’s commitment to providing the finest experience to all passengers, not just those in premium class. “Our new economy class seat, with its redesigned recline system and additional leg room, will ensure that our passengers in economy class arrive at their destinations feeling rested and refreshed,” he stated at the seat reveal at ITB Berlin.
The new economy class follows the launch of Qatar Airways’ innovative Qsuite seat in 2017, which features the world’s first-ever double bed in business class (Aircraft Interiors International was the first to break this story) and a unique quad configuration, providing new passenger options for privacy and personalization in their travel experience. The Qsuite was designed with PriestmanGoode and Collins Aerospace, and since the launch of the seat it has won several awards, including the ‘Cabin Concept’ category of the Crystal Cabin Awards in 2018, and ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Business Class Seat’ in the 2018 Skytrax awards.