6 May 2014 by Alex Stewart
Qatar Airways has announced that it is to start a new all-business class service from London to the Middle East, making it the first airline to consider such a move in this part of the world; British Airways already operates a 32-seat Club World service from London City to New York JFK.
A specially organised Qatar Airways Airbus A319 will carry just 40 business class passengers in a single aisle, 2-2 seating configuration and promises passengers complete comfort and privacy as well as the airline's award-winning five-star service.
Seats recline into fully flat beds and passengers will have access to the airline's Oryx entertainment system including more than 900 films, television shows, music channels and games. SMS mobile texting will also be available.
Once booked on the service, passengers will also have access to the new Qatar Airways lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 and the Premium Terminal in Doha.
The maiden flight will be on 15 May 2014 and will operate daily from the airline's hub in Doha to Heathrow. The service will complement the five daily flights the airline already operates from Heathrow.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said, '[This] announcement reaffirms Qatar Airways' determination to continue its expansion drive by improving an already superior in-flight product.'
Qatar Airways has also announced plans to take delivery of 23 Airbus A380 superjumbos; the first is set to arrive in early June 2014. The new aircraft will have three classes, with First Class given access to extensive entertainment options and a 26-inch screen.