Air New Zealand has today unveiled new Business and Premium Economy Class seats and has also unveiled the world’s first lie-flat Economy Class seat.
Air New Zealand says that it has “responded to overwhelming customer feedback on the importance of sleep and need for more comfort and space”. The airline says that the new Boeing B787-9 Dreamliners that are due to arrive in 2024 will “give passengers more choice than any airline in the world, providing the best sleep in the sky regardless of the cabin passengers choose to fly in”. The Dreamliners currently in service will also be retrofitted with the new cabins.
The interior design is inspired by the uniqueness of Aotearoa so passengers will experience New Zealand as soon as they step onboard. The creators have put in 1,70,000 hours to create the new cabins, having started in 2017.
New Business Premier seats
Air New Zealand has unveiled all-new Business Premier seats, including Business Premier Luxe seats. The lie-flat Business Premier seats feature a large Inflight Entertainment screen, wireless charger, multiple storage options and Bluetooth connectivity, meaning that passengers will be able to connect their own headphones or earphones to the system.
The Business Premier Luxe seats feature a sliding door for maximum privacy and space for two to dine in addition to all the things found in normal Business Premier seats.
New Premium Economy seats
The Auckland-based airline has also unveiled new Premium Economy seats. Air New Zealand says that the new Premium Economy seats offer more privacy and protected space where you can recline at leisure without interrupting the person behind because of the “fixed-shell” type of design of the seat.
The Skynest seats
As Air New Zealand says “it’s time to swap the headrest for some bedrest” and for the same, the carrier has unveiled the all-new world’s first Skynest seats.
There will be 6 “Sleep pods” on every Air New Zealand Dreamliner where Economy passengers can catch some shut-eye.
Air New Zealand has been at the forefront in innovating new type of seats, particularly for Economy passengers. The airline was the first to introduce Skycouch which allows passengers to book a row of standard Economy seats for themselves, that come with a mattress and bedding. And with Skynest, the airline is taking Economy Class to a whole new level, something which I personally am excited about the most.
Comments made by Greg Foran, Chief Executive Officer of Air New Zealand, suggest that the Skynest won’t be available to a passenger for the entire journey. Instead, it will be an add-on option where passengers can book a Skynest by the hour. The additional fee will be by the hour.
Greg Foran said:
We wanted to offer our Economy customers a lie-flat option and that’s how Skynest was born. It’s going to be a real game changer for the economy travel experience.
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New Economy seats
Air New Zealand is not just focusing on new products but also upgrading the existing products.
The airline has also unveiled upgraded Economy Class seats “with more storage, comfort and space and a 50% bigger screen for entertainment”. Passengers will also be connect to Bluetooth audio and pair their device to act as a remote control or second screen.
Air New Zealand will continue the concept of Skycouch in its retrofitted and new upcoming Dreamliners.
And there will also be “Economy Stretch” seats, which are standard Economy seats with more legroom.
The airline has also added a Sky Pantry to the Premium Economy and Economy cabins, so passengers can stretch their legs, grab a bite to eat and hydrate at their leisure throughout their journey.
Here’s a video about all of the new cabins:
Greg Foran said:
New Zealand’s location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-longhaul travel experience. We have zeroed in on sleep, comfort, and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well-rested. Whether they are heading straight into a meeting, or to their first holiday hotspot – they want to hit the ground running. It’s a proud moment to finally unveil five years of hard mahi, in what truly is a cabin of possibility. One that will provide customers with options to get some shut eye wherever they’re sitting.
Leanne Geraghty, Chief Customer and Sales Officer, Air New Zealand, says the cabin’s interior design is inspired by the uniqueness of Aotearoa, from the forest inspired carpet to the seats that draw inspiration from New Zealand’s native bird, the Tui.
Whether we are welcoming visitors or flying New Zealanders home, we want our customers to experience Aotearoa from the moment they step onboard – and get the best night’s rest. Research shows us the first night away from home is the hardest to get a good night’s sleep so everything we do onboard is to help create a sense of calm – from the lighting and sleep ritual including sleepy teas and balms, to the healthier food choices and breathable fabrics. Meditative onscreen content, Zentertainment, will also help customers unwind and get ready for rest. Our new cabin experience is set to be world class, and we know our customers will love it.
The airline also says that sustainability has been at the heart of the design process. Using modern fabrics, rather than leather, has saved around one kilogram in weight per Business Premier and Premium Economy seat, reducing overall carbon emissions. In Premium cabins, the airline will also switch to serviceware that is 20% lighter, helping to reduce carbon emissions, and in Economy, the new serviceware will reduce plastic dishes used inflight by 28 million every year.
Air New Zealand says that the 8 Boeing B787-9 Dreamliners arriving from 2024 and retrofitted current B787-9 fleet will have either 8 or 4 Business Premier Luxe seats, 42 or 22 Business Premier, 52 or 33 Premium Economy, 125 or 213 Economy seats, and specifically on the ultra-longhaul aircraft, 6 Skynest sleep pods.
Featured image by Air New Zealand
All the other images by Air New Zealand
What do you think of Air New Zealand’s new cabins? Let me know in the comments section below.