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Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer Engr. Badr Al-Meer has revealed several major new developments in line with his vision for Qatar Airways 2.0 designed to invigorate the global airline and its unique group of businesses.

Innovation is a key tenet behind his roadmap for success and new product reveals will be a feature of the coming months as the airline gets ready to launch first class cabins on some of the fleet.

In an exclusive interview, his first since being appointed as GCEO in November 2023, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer told CNBC: “This is a new era”.

He explained in the far-ranging interview which touched on the positive outlook for the group overall, how Qatar Airways is now developing a high yielding first-class concept for its cabins.

“We wanted to combine the experience from flying commercial and from flying private jets and develop something new…We’re seventy to eight percent ready and we are only finalising colours. Hopefully we will be able to announce it soon,” he said.

“Based on demand from certain sectors we see there will be high demand for first class, so we have decided in the last few months to introduce a first-class cabin. I feel nobody can develop a first-class cabin better than us.”

Engr. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer went on to reveal that Qatar Airways is redesigning its premium Qsuite, and a new Qsuite is set to debut at the Farnborough International Airshow in July.

Qatar Airways award winning Qsuite Business Class challenged industry norms when it was launched in 2017 and continues to be a benchmark for the aviation industry.

Engr. Badr was appointed Group CEO in November 2023 and upon his appointment immediately focused on introducing innovative programmes to benefit both passengers and the airline’s global 60,000 strong workforce. In his first message to employees he stressed how important a culture of trust and empowerment is to his leadership. Initiatives include relaxing rules surrounding employee dress code and improving employee satisfaction have been rolled out.

He also underlined how digital innovation is helping drive organisational efficiencies as the airline continues to announce exciting new routes in growth markets including China and India, further enhancing Qatar’s position as a gateway to the world.

From the summer, several new destinations will be launched by Qatar Airways, taking the total number of destinations to over 170. Included in the upcoming list of new destinations are Venice, Lisbon, Hamburg, and Tashkent. Qatar Airways will also resume several summer seasonal routes such as Adana, Antalya, Bodrum, Marrakesh, Mykonos, Sarajevo and Trabzon.

The GCEO also said the competitive aviation landscape in the GCC region is helping raise the bar when it comes to customer experience. His message is that the pressure is on potential rivals and that he welcomes any challenge. He confident that Qatar Airways will continue to hold onto its market leading position and will in the future continue to outshine the competition.