I was recently invited by Doha-based Qatar Airways to be part of the inaugural flight from Doha, Qatar to Nice, France. This flight is a five-weekly service between the Doha and Nice operated on the airline’s spanking new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Here are the flight details
Doha-Nice QR 53 Departure 0745/Arrival 1315
Nice-Doha QR 54 Departure 1655/Arrival 2355
Duration of flight: Approx 6 hours.
After a quick four-hour red-eye from Mumbai to Doha, on a Boeing 777-300 ER, I spent about two hours in transit at Hamad International Airport. Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Class lounge is an absolute treat for a business traveller with different relaxation, dining and seating areas featuring in its vast sprawl. A quick breakfast and a couple of espressos later, it was time for me to board the inaugural flight to Nice.
I board the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Door 2 Left and I am warmly greeted by the senior flight attendant who escorts me to my seat. The Qatar Airways Business Class cabin on this aircraft is spaciously designed in a 1-2-1 configuration, which obviously means direct aisle access for all. The aircraft seats 22 passengers in Business Class and 232 in Economy Class in a 3-3-3 configuration. Towards the back of the Business Class cabin, just ahead of the last row, there is a little bar-like counter, where newspapers and magazines are displayed. The Qatar Airways Business Class cabin on the whole is super elegant and the soft, understated colour palette spells luxury.
I absolutely LOVE the Qatar Airways Business Class Seat. Not only is it extremely comfortable but it assures direct aisle access for everyone. So I no longer have to worry about the awkward jump over someone else’s legs to get to the bathroom. The seat has a pitch of 50 inches and is 22 inches wide. At the touch of a button, the seat position can be adjusted depending on your preference, and can finally be transformed into a spacious flat bed, which is almost 80 inches long.
The seat has a lot of storage and work space. I absolutely love the little work space on the side where I could place my phone, bottle of water, glass of champagne and even my Kindle. Each seat also has an in-seat power point, a USB port and an Apple iPort, in addition to a massive 17 inch screen, featuring the awesome Oryx One Inflight Entertainment system.
I was absolutely delighted to find a super chic amenity kit from Italian leather brand Bric’s containing products from Italian beauty brand Castello Monte Vibiano. Two different menu cards are handed out – one for the food and the other for drinks (read two different kinds of champagne and an extensive list of wines and cocktails).
Service in Qatar Airways Business Class is impeccable. The crew consistently address you by your last name and are always walking around the cabin, proactively checking on you, refilling glasses and just generally being nice. Meals are served in multiple courses and on a dine-on-demand service. All you need to do is inform the crew about 20 minutes before you wish to eat and your meal is freshly heated up and plated for you.
Qatar Airways Business Class impresses on all counts.
I spent the most part of my flight reading on my Kindle, catching up on some TV and just generally relaxing. Since I had already had a heavy breakfast at the lounge, I did not try the breakfast on board. I did however try the dine-on-demand dinner service on my flight back (Nice to Doha, which I chronicled on my Instagram live feed).
We departed Doha on time and six hours later, I saw the famous coast of the French Riviera. A spectacular landing over Nice’s Bay of Angels at exactly 1315, followed by a traditional water salute, and I was in Nice.
Qatar Airways’ new flight to Nice is a great option for travellers wanting to get into the south of France without having to transit through Paris. The timing is convenient, the connectivity is amazing and, of course, the onboard experience is faultless.