Air New Zealand has reinvented flying again – and it’s spectacular.
More choice and more comfort, than any other airline, regardless of which class you fly is promised from its next batch of Boeing 787s to be delivered from 2024.
This choice includes Skynest (above), the world’s first sleep pods in the sky for economy travellers.
Launched this week, the airline said that feedback from extensive customer research over five years has highlighted the importance of a good night’s sleep and the need for more space and comfort, so the new travel experience is designed around creating a home away from home that leaves customers refreshed and raring to go at their destination.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran points to the airline’s ambition to create the greatest flying experience and says the new cabin, combined with world-leading Kiwi hospitality, is the winning formula.
“New Zealand’s location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-long-haul 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 (work), in what truly is a cabin of possibility. One that will provide customers with options to get some shut-eye wherever they’re sitting.”
Innovation has driven the new cabin experience from nose to tail. For economy customers, the Skynest concept, first announced in 2020, will be a world-first.
“We wanted to offer our economy customers a lie-flat option and that’s how Skynest was born. It will be a real game-changer for the economy travel experience,” Mr Foran said.
Chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty says the cabin’s interior design is inspired by the uniqueness of Aotearoa (New Zealand), 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 on board – 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 on board 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, and entertainment, will also help customers unwind and get ready for rest.
The airline has also added a Sky Pantry to the Premium Economy and Economy cabins, so customers can stretch their legs, grab a bite to eat and hydrate at their leisure throughout their journey.
The Air New Zealand offering is divided into seven products or subproducts.
Business Premier Luxe
This class combines the new Business Premier suite with closing doors for privacy and there is a tad more space.
A new suite for business class travellers (above) with all the latest refinements for storage and comfort
The airline’s premium economy was the industry’s best and it’s about to get better with more privacy and protected space where you can recline at leisure without interrupting the person behind.
When it’s time to swap the headrest for some bedrest you can book some horizontal time in this six-bed pod. It is available for premium economy and economy travellers.
The airline’s award-winning Skycouch (below) is a sensational product and perfect for couples or parents with children.
As the name suggests – more room to stretch with the seat pitch of 35 inches (89cm) rather than the usual 31 to 32 inches (79-81.5cm)
The airline is adding an enhanced economy seat with more storage, comfort and space and a 50 per cent bigger screen for entertainment (below). Connect to Bluetooth audio and pair your device to act as a remote control or second screen.
The eight 787-9 Dreamliners arriving from 2024 and retrofitted current 787-9 fleet will have either eight or four Business Premier Luxe seats, 42 or 22 Business Premier, 52 or 33 Premium Economy, 125 or 213 Economy seats, and specifically on the ultra-long-haul aircraft, six Skynest sleep pods.