Ultra-long-haul aircraft will come with two new kinds of business-class seats and six Skynest sleep pods in economy.
Air New Zealand’s new Dreamliners, due to arrive in 2024, are set to provide customers with options to get some shut eye wherever they’re sitting. This includes a new Business Premier Luxe seat — a “suite” with a fully closing door and space for two to dine — and Skynest for economy travelers.
Five years in the making, the new 787-9 cabin experience is being designed around creating a home away from home that leaves travelers refreshed and raring to go at their destination. Inspired by the nature of Aotearoa, seats take their cues from New Zealand’s native Tui bird and the carpet’s design nods to the forest. The airline says passengers can expect healthier food choices, breathable fabrics, teas and balms that encourage sleep, as well as meditative onscreen content dubbed Zentertainment.
The Skynest concept, first announced in 2020, will be a game-changer as it provides a lie-flat option for economy customers. The airline has also added a Sky Pantry to both 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.
The new cabins have been designed with sustainability in mind. Overall carbon emissions will be reduced by using modern fabrics rather than leather, saving around one kilogram in weight per Business Premier and premium economy seat, while the airline will also switch to service ware that is 20 percent lighter in premium cabins. Over in economy, the new service ware will reduce plastic dishes used inflight by 28 million every year.
Seven different kinds of seats will be available on ultra-long-haul flights. Aside from Business Premier Luxe and Economy Skynest, Business Premier also offers a comfortable sleeping experience. Premium economy promises additional privacy and protected space, Economy Skycouch gives you the option to set up a mattress and pillow across three adjacent seats, and Economy Stretch for those in need of more legroom. Standard economy seats have been enhanced with more storage and space, alongside a 50 percent bigger screen for entertainment.
The eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners arriving from 2024 and the retrofitted 787-9 fleet will have either eight or four Business Premier Luxe seats, 42 or 22 Business Premier, 52 or 33 in premium economy, 125 or 213 economy seats, and specifically on the ultra-long-haul aircraft, six Skynest sleep pods.