- About Virgin Australia B777-300ER
- Qatar Airways DOH-BKK Boarding
- Qatar Airways B77W Business Class Cabin
- Qatar Airways B77W Business Class Onboard Bar
- Qatar Airways B77W Business Class Seats
- Qatar Airways Business Class Amenity Kits
- Qatar Airways DOH-BKK Business Class Welcome Drink
- Qatar Airways DOH-BKK Business Class Dining
- Qatar Airways B77W Business Class Bed
- Qatar Airways B77W Business Class Inflight Entertainment
- Qatar Airways B77W Business Class Lavatories
- April 3, 2023
- Qatar Airways 836
- Doha (DOH) – Bangkok (BKK)
- Departure: 0534(DOH)
- Arrival: 1531(BKK)
- Duration: 5:57
- Aircraft: Boeing B777-3ZG(ER)
- Registration: A7-BOE
- Seat: 1A (Business Class)
Surprised to see a Business Class cabin that is not how it looks on Qatar Airways? This is actually the cabin of the Qatar Airways flight I took from Doha(DOH) to Bangkok(BKK) this Monday.
Qatar Airways has only two types of business class seats on its B777 fleet: the Qsuite and the previous-generation business class seat. However, due to the Airbus A350’s grounding, the airline leased six Boeing B777-300ERs that were used by two different airlines to catch up with the passenger demand. These aircraft were from:
- Cathay Pacific
- ex-Virgin Australia
Airlinesandme has reviewed the Cathay Pacific-leased version, more known as the “Qatar Pacific,” to Zurich in First Class. But this is the first time to review the ex-Virgin Australia’s B777s. For context, Qatar Airways leased two ex-Virgin Australia B777 on December 2022 and February 2023 respectively.
About Virgin Australia B777-300ER
As I mentioned above, Qatar Airways leased two ex-Virgin Australia Boeing B777-300ERs from Castlelake Aviation. Before reviewing my Business Class experience I will briefly go over the details about these leased aircraft.
The two Boeing B777-300ERs have an average age of 14 years and all first entered service in 2009. However, in 2020, the global aviation industry was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and Virgin Australia had to stop all international flights, eventually entering into voluntary administration on April 21, 2020.
With the restructuring process, the airline sold all of its widebodies including the B777-300ERs and put them in storage without an unforeseen future. Until Qatar Airways approached to lease two of the aircraft.
Virgin Australia’s B777-300ERs is configured into a three-class cabin with 339 seats:
- Business: 37 forward-facing reverse herringbone seats
- Premium Economy: 24 seats
- Economy: 278 seats
Qatar Airways does not offer a premium economy product so these seats are sold as economy on the Qatar Airways website and be assigned at extra cost.
What is also amazing about this aircraft is that there is an onboard bar in between the two Business Class cabins. I will go over the bar below.
Qatar Airways DOH-BKK Boarding
My flight was scheduled to depart at 2:30 AM in the morning however due to operational reasons, it was delayed by three hours with a new departure time of 5:20 AM. The previous flight arrived a little late in Doha from Manchester, UK but for some reason, it took longer than usual for the flight t be ready.
Thankfully, Hamad International Airport has all the things to enjoy including the Orchard to visit around until my boarding time came.
Qatar Airways B77W Business Class Cabin
Once entering the cabin through the forward door the Business Class cabin is divided into two cabins with a configuration of 1-2-1 layout.
The forward Business Class cabin has 24 seats and 13 more seats in the “mini” cabin. It is interesting that due to the layout of the cabin, there are 11 rows of seats on the left-hand side (Port) while only 8 rows are installed on the right-hand side (Starboard) and 9 rows for the center seats.
Since it was an early morning departure, the cabin lights were dimmed throughout the flight so the pictures may be dark. Unlike other Qatar Airways fleets, there is even a customized star ceiling LED that replicates a beautiful night sky in the cabin.
Qatar Airways B77W Business Class Onboard Bar
Before reviewing the seat, this ex-Virgin version of Qatar Airways has an amazing onboard bar. The bar is located on the mid-section of the Business Class cabin with four bar stools. It still has a strong presence of Virgin’s days. There are a variety of alcoholic drinks available at the bar with snacks and fruits.
The bar may not be as grand with sofas like the A380 but it is better than nothing😊.
Qatar Airways B77W Business Class Seats
Depending on the row, the Business Class seats have a variable pitch whereas select front row seats have more legroom (up to 80 inches or 203cm)due to their positions while the remaining have 76 inches or 193cm of pitch. All seats have a relatively wide 23 inches (58.4cm) width.
The forward-facing reverse herringbone seats are similar to those found on Boeing B787-8 and select Airbus A350-900s however, Virgin’s B777 has more privacy thanks to the higher partition around the seat.
The best Business Class seat on ex-Virgin Australia leased B777 is none other than seat 1A, where I was seated. Row 8 also offers great seats however, the proximity to the bar and lavatory may be bothersome.
Each seat is equipped with multiple personal storage spaces beside the armrest and under the leg well.
The adjustable armrest facing the aisle has also storage normally stored with a bottle of water and a headphone.
A seat adjustment touchpad controller is located beside the armrest that comes with manual and automatic seat reclining positions plus a light switch.
An in-seat reading lamp and overhead reading lights are installed on each seat which can be controlled from the touchpad.
The literature pocket with a safety card and a coat hook is also featured on the seat. The round coat hook can be used by pressing the tab.
Qatar Airways Business Class Amenity Kits
Once boarded, the cabin crew approached and give out a Diptyque amenity kit and a pajama from The White Company since it was a red-eye flight.
Qatar Airways DOH-BKK Business Class Welcome Drink
Since it was early in the morning, even though the 2006 Laurent-Perrier was enticing, it was a little heavy so I decided to just have a glass of water. The cabin crew member then came back with the water and hand towel.
Qatar Airways DOH-BKK Business Class Dining
The flight had two dining services: Late night dining and breakfast. But prior to departure, I requested the cabin crew that I would just like to have a cheese plate with a dessert wine and continue to get some more sleep. Here is the menu for the flight from Doha to Bangkok on my flight.
Similar to other Business Class tray tables, it is latched under the IFE monitor and can slide and fold out. I really like the white color tone of the tray table and side surfaces as it sticks out to the eye.
After takeoff, the cheese plate was served along with my favorite dessert wine – Markus Molitor.
Qatar Airways B77W Business Class Bed
Finishing up the meals, I immediately went to bed since I stayed up the whole night. Before I can even ask the crew for bedding, I fell asleep. Here is what the fully reclining seat looks like. The seat had great comfort even without the bedding so I did not have any issues sleeping.
On the plus side, the star design on the ceiling was enough to have a good sleep.
Qatar Airways B77W Business Class Inflight Entertainment
This aircraft, similar to Cathay Pacific-leased ones, has a simple Oryx One software to be installed into this aircraft’s Inflight entertainment system.
The aircraft uses Panasonic’s X series in-flight entertainment systems featuring an 18-inch touchscreen monitor.
The simple-looking remote controller is stowed under the storage compartment beside the seat with a power outlet and a USB port.
Need to charge for mobile devices? The universal power outlet, as well as a USB socket, is available in the seat. The USB port is a high-powered port and quickly charge devices.
Previously, Virgin Australia has selected Gogo’s 2Ku service to power in-flight connectivity across its B777 fleet. Qatar Airways offers an unlimited high-speed internet connection. The only disadvantage of this Wi-Fi is there is no complimentary one hour of usage and you have to pay US$10 to use the internet.
Qatar Airways seels discounted onboard Wi-Fi rates when purchased before flight through ‘Manage my booking’ tab.
Qatar Airways B77W Business Class Lavatories
There are three lavatories: two on the forward and one beside the onboard bar. The interior on the lavatories are simialr to most Beoing B777s with Qatar airways adding Diptyque amenities inside it.
Qatar Airways leased two ex-Virgin Australia Boeing B777s and this was my first time on board this version. These two aircraft are particularly intersting as they both feature onboard bar in Business Class cabin.
Given that, Virgin Australia introduced the current premium cabin back in 2016 and used for only four years before being sold to lessors, the cabin was in great condition. Also the seats are more private thanks to the higher walls surrounding the seat.
I have never flown on Virgin Australia before so this was an opprotunity to experience one and if you haven’t as well, you can fly this aircraft between Doha and Manchester, Bali and as of April 1, 2023, to Bangkok.