While domestic flights are reaching pre-pandemic levels, long-haul international flights are still lagging. To get customers excited about visiting New Zealand–one of my favorite destinations–Air New Zealand is introducing a new concept for those of us who find ourselves at the back of the plane. Sleep and health remain a key issue for travelers. Getting at least a little bit of sleep and arriving as well rested as possible is important for those traveling for business or a holiday. And so, Air New Zealand has introduced a new concept–the economy sleep pod.
Due to arrive in 2024, the airline’s new Dreamliners will include what Air New Zealand refers to as a “Skynest.” The Skynest most resembles a bunk bed and gives six passengers the opportunity to “rent” a bed for several hours. So if you don’t want to splurge for a business class seat, you can still have a bit of a rest. The Skynest can also be a more fun way to spread out with your traveling companions or members of your family. There is also an Economy “Skycouch” that can be used for an hour or two of spreading out.
While the Skynest is probably Air New Zealand’s most innovative addition to its fleet, the airline has also upgraded the flying experience for those lucky enough to be traveling in Business. The newly designed Business Premier Luxe seat provides more space and privacy. These seats have a fully closing door and space for two to dine.
The newly designed cabin is meant to provide a more relaxing vibe for everyone. The carpet is inspired by the forest and the seats echo New Zealand’s native bird, the Tui. The lighting has been designed to calm passengers who can also enjoy a selection of sleep-inducing teas. And meditative on screen content called “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 passengers can go for a stroll, enjoy a snack and hydrate throughout the flight.
Air New Zealand is committed to be as green as possible. The new planes use breathable fabrics instead of leather, a switch that saves about a kilo per Business Premier and Premium Economy seat, reducing overall carbon emissions. In Premium cabins, the airline will also switch to tableware that is 20% lighter, helping to reduce carbon emissions, and in Economy, the new tableware will significantly reduce the use of plastic.
These new improvements should help everyone get excited about what would otherwise be just a very long flight.