Aviation

Air New Zealand sets roll out date for long awaited bunk-beds in economy class

Air New Zealand is launching new ‘sleep pods’ in its economy cabin alongside a spate of fandangled new features.

The airline’s new Dreamliners, due to arrive in 2024, will be geared toward giving passengers good quality sleep regardless of their cabin class with a new Business Premier Luxe seat and Skynest– the world’s first sleep pods in the sky for economy travellers.

Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said New Zealand’s location puts the airline in a unique position to lead when it comes to 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,” Foran said. 

“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.”

For Economy customers, the Skynest concept, first announced in 2020, will be a world-first, allowing economy travellers to stretch out in one of six pods for part of their journey and catch some shut-eye.

“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,” Foran continued.

The new planes will also feature Business Premier Luxe, offering passengers all the perks of Business Premier, but with a fully closing door and space for two to dine.

Chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty said 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.

“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,” Geraghty said.

Meditative onscreen content, Zentertainment, will also help customers unwind and get ready for rest, and 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.

In the more immediate future, the airline is gearing up for its busiest July in two years with the relaunch of 14 international routes in 16 days. With these routes back in action, Air New Zealand will be operating 60 per cent of its international capacity – the most international flying in the last two years.

From 9 July, the airline will have three-quarters of its international and domestic routes back up and running with popular destinations like Honolulu, Houston and Tahiti restarting after around 820 days of not operating.

The Boeing 777-300 aircraft will also be back flying passengers, helping towards the addition of around 40,000 seats per week in July on its international network. 



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