Air New Zealand is no stranger to innovating and introducing new ideas. While their business class product may not be the best example of that, there are other areas where they excel and stand out from other carriers. The airline is very proudly known for offering the ability to have the whole row in economy with their product named ” Skycouch ” and they’ve won countless awards for passenger comfort and experience with items like their interactive in in-flight entertainment.
Economy class is more often than less the cabin that has less innovation compared to say business or even first class for some carriers. As I mentioned above, Air New Zealand plays a little differently, and this is precisely what they’ll be trialling very soon.
The airline will be introducing a product called the Economy Skynest which is basically a separate bedding area on the aircraft for economy passengers.
“We see a future flying experience where an economy-class customer on long-haul flights would be able to book the Economy Skynest in addition to their Economy seat, get some quality rest and arrive at their destination ready to go. This is a game changer on so many levels,” Ms Goodman says.
“We’re so excited to be sharing this product development with our customers. This is one of the highlights of three years’ intensive work centred on customer wellbeing. We’re sure this innovation is going to be a game changer for the industry and bring significant improvements to long-haul flying. We expect other airlines will want to explore licensing the Economy Skynest from us just as they have with the Economy Skycouch.”
What are the details on the Economy Skynest?
- The new product isn’t going to be rolled out soon, or maybe at all. The airline will be gauging how popular it is and if it’s worthwhile to invest in after looking at results of the Auckland – New York service. This new flight is set to commence in October 2020 with the final decision on the product to be made next year.
- The Skynest will house six sleeping pods
- The product has been worked on for three years
- The Skynest pods are purchased separately to the original ticket
- The overall size of the pods are 2 meters in length
- The width of the pods is over 58cm
- Each of the pods will contain standard items like a blanket, pillow, earplugs.
- The suites will feature privacy curtains ensuring privacy
- The airline is looking to introduce things like USB charging
Which aircraft will this be featured on?
Air New Zealand will be operating their Auckland – New York service with their two-class 787-9. As stated above, the airline will only be testing these seats for a limited time before they make a final decision as to whether they install them.
The airline also hasn’t said where the new pods would be located, but I imagine it’d be towards the rear of the economy cabin.
I think this is a really cool and exciting idea but only time will tell if the airline chooses to go with the seat. In theory, I believe these will be quite popular, especially considering the overall flight time of that New York service at over 17 and a half hours.
Here’s the Youtube video of the product if you’d like to take a look and learn more: