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12 August, 2022

Cattle class no more thanks to Air New Zealand's 'Skynest'

In a world’s first, Air New Zealand has introduced ‘sleep pods’ for economy class passengers to rest for four hours at a time

Air New Zealand will introduce sleep pods in the economy class cabins of its ultra-long-haul Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from 2024. In what will be a world first, passengers down the back of the plane will be able to lie down and stretch out like those lucky passengers parked up the front of the aircraft. Air New Zealand CEO says the so-called Skynest will prove a game-changer for economy class travel.

A lie-flat opportunity for economy class passengers

The publicity images released by Air New Zealand reveal a set of four bunks similar to what you might find in an entry-level "room" in a capsule hotel. Air New Zealand is a long-haul specialist, and with nonstop flights scheduled to destinations even further afield, like New York, many passengers will welcome the opportunity to catch some quality shut-eye during the journey. Air New Zealand says the eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners arriving in 2024 will include the new cabin, and a retrofitting program will cover the existing 787-9s.

Comments made by Air New Zealand's CEO suggest the Skynest won't be available to a passenger for the entire journey. Instead, it will be an add-on. Passengers seated in economy class can book a Skynest by the hour - for an additional fee, of course. Air New Zealand says they'll have six Skynest pods on their Dreamliners post-2024. The Skynest is one of a raft of new seat and cabin upgrades passengers can expect on Air New Zealand Dreamliner flights from 2024.

"What's really exciting is what we are doing down the back of the plane," says Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran. "It's an important part of any plane - you don't just sell what's happening up the front. Down in economy, we are going to have this product called Skynest, and it allows passengers to rent, if you like, a lie-flat bed for a period of time while flying. I think this is going to be pretty compelling for a lot of customers. A lot of customers will say, 'for a little bit extra, I'm happy to sit down the back as long as I know I can get a few hours sleep.'"

[With information from and]

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