A first in the history of aviation is about to materialize: Economy class passengers will have the option of sleeping in an actual bed on long haul flights. Air New Zealand’s new Dreamliners, due to arrive in 2024, will give customers more choice than any airline in the world, providing “the best sleep in the sky”, regardless of the cabin customers choose to fly in.
Considering New Zealand’s geographical location, the airline operates some of the longest routes in the world. In September, the 17-hour Auckland – New York flights start, becoming the longest regularly scheduled passenger flights in the world. For so many hours spent in the air, comfort is essential and Air New Zealand is upgrading all its cabins to offer the best conditions to their customers.
The eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners arriving from 2024 and retrofitted current 787-9 fleet will have 4 or 8 Business Premier Luxe seats, 22 or 42 Business Premier, 33 or 55 Premium Economy, 125 or 213 Economy seats, and specifically on the ultra-long-haul aircraft, six Skynest sleep pods.
“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 and raring to go at their destination”, the airline said about the new upgrades.
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.Greg Foran, Air New Zealand CEO
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. “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”, he added.
The airline also revealed that 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 service ware that is 20% lighter, helping to reduce carbon emissions, and in Economy, the new service ware will reduce plastic dishes used inflight by 28 million every year.