Air New Zealand has unveiled the cabin designs for its new B787 Dreamliners, due to enter service in 2024. The new cabins include a new Business Premier Luxe seat, designed for customers looking for more space and privacy, and Skynest, the world’s first sleep pods in the sky for Economy travellers.
Feedback from extensive customer research over five years has highlighted the importance for a good night’s sleep and the need for more space and comfort, so the new experience is designed around creating a home away from home that leaves customers refreshed.
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, in what truly is a cabin of possibility. One that will provide customers with options to get some shut eye wherever they’re sitting.”
According to the airline, innovation has been central to the new cabin experience. 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’s going to be a real game changer for the economy travel experience.”
Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty 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.”
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.
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.
The eight Boeing 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.
Here is a breakdown of the cabins:
Business Premier Luxe
The new Business Premier Luxe offering will provide more space and privacy with all the features of Business Premier, but with a fully closing door and space for two to dine.
A comfortable and private nest for a blissful journey and tranquil sleep. And if traveling with a companion, the middle row allows customers to open their nest and share their experience.
This new seat offers more privacy and protected space where passengers can recline at leisure without interrupting the person behind.
Air New Zealand’s Economy Skynest is the world’s first sleep pod in the sky. There will be six pods.
The Economy Skycouch is a row of Economy seats that can be turned into a couch after takeoff.
This seat is for those who want to rest and stretch their legs further than the regular Economy seat.
An enhanced economy seat designed with more storage, comfort and space and a 50% bigger screen for entertainment. Passengers can connect to Bluetooth audio and pair their device to act as a remote control or second screen.