×

Qatar Air takes 'breather' in Dubai, but promises new luxury product

The Qatar Airways first class cabin
Qatar Airways
The Qatar Airways first class cabin

After a bumper order book at 2013's Dubai Airshow, Qatar Airways said it did not plan to place a single order at this year's show, with the company adding that it had satisfied its needs for the year at Paris' show during the summer.

However, CEO Akbar Al Baker said they were busy focusing on its luxury offerings, and revealed plans to launch the "world's best premium product." On Sunday, he explained the company's rationale to CNBC.

"We need a little bit of breathing space, hopefully at Farnborough maybe we have something to talk about," Al Baker told CNBC at the Dubai Airshow. Farnborough's International Airshow takes place in July 2016.

He also hinted of things to come for the airline.

"We hope also very soon to unveil the world's best premium product in the airplane, so all this is very exciting for Qatar airways," he said.

Al Baker did not elaborate, but did say that Qatar Airways said that the new premium product will be trademarked to prevent other airlines from copying its luxury designs.

The announcement of a updated first class offering from Qatar Airways comes after United Arab Emirates airline Etihad launched a premium apartment "Residence" suite on the double decker Airbus A380 last year. That suite is part of a one-way, eight-hour flight from the Gulf to London, and costs around $20,000.

Oil price boost

Al Baker said that the airline was benefitting from cheaper oil prices, as it was the single largest part of the airline's cost.

Currently, crude is mired under $50 but the airline chief predicted that the "honeymoon" of weak commodity prices would not last much longer.

"We are now very fortunate that the airlines are now dropping, but I don't think this honeymoon will last very long," Al Baker told CNBC. "I am sure that as the world economy starts developing that the oil price will also start rising again" he said.