May 28, 2024

Air New Zealand unveils economy sleeping pods

Air New Zealand has unveiled a new sleeping pod prototype for economy class travellers called the Economy Skynest, which will feature six full-length lie-flat beds in a bunk-bed configuration.

The six pods would be housed inside the economy cabin, and would be bookable in addition to an economy seat. The sleeping areas will be more than 200cm long and more than 58cm wide at the shoulder.

Each pod will include a full-size pillow, sheets and blanket, ear plugs along with privacy curtains and lighting designed for sleep.

Other features such as separate reading lights, USB ports and ventilation outlets are being explored.

The airline has filed patent and trademark applications for the Economy Skynest, which is the result of three years research and development centred on customer wellbeing.

Air New Zealand’s Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Mike Tod says that as the airline operates some of the world’s longest flights, such as the upcoming Auckland-New York service at up to 17 hours 40 minutes one way, it is committed to “putting more magic back into flying”.

“We have a tremendous amount of development work underway looking at product innovations we can bring across all cabins of the aircraft.

“A clear pain point for economy travellers on long-haul flights is the inability to stretch out. The development of the Economy Skynest is a direct response to that challenge,” says Tod.

The development of the Economy Skynest comes after the success of Air New Zealand’s Economy Skycouch, which has been licensed to other airlines.

But Air New Zealand says working through the necessary accreditations with regulators is an immense undertaking compared with the development of Economy Skycouch.

It will make a final decision on whether to operate the Economy Skynest next year after it has assessed the performance of its inaugural year of Auckland-New York operations.