Air New Zealand plans to offer bunk beds in Economy Class

28.02.2020 at 10:38

Travel news

New Zealand’s flagship carrier Air New Zealand have unveiled the future of long haul economy flying — debuting the futuristic prototype of their ground-breaking new sleeping pod.

And better still, it could be a reality as soon as next year.

Dubbed the “Economy Skynest“, the new product lets travellers lie down or get some shut-eye, with six full-length lie-flat beds in a single pod.

The airline today filed patent and trademark applications for the product, that was three years in the making.

The innovation comes as the airline considers the future of ultra long haul travel.

Air New Zealand already operate some of the world’s longest flight routes, and have announced plans to eventually run an Auckland to New York service spanning 17 hours and 40 minutes one way.

Air New Zealand’s chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod said the airline is committed to putting the 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,” Mr Tod says.

The Skynest could make its commercial debut as soon as 2021, but the launch will depend on the performance of its Auckland-New York operations.

But will all economy flyers get access to the beds? Sadly, no.

“We see a future flying experience where an economy-class customer on long-haul flights would be able to book the Economy Skynest in addition to their Economy seat, get some quality rest and arrive at their destination ready to go,” Air New Zealand’s general manager of customer experience Nikki Goodman says.

There’s no confirmation as to how many Economy Skynest ‘pods’ will be available on each aircraft, or where it will sit within the aircraft — although it will be somewhere within the economy cabin.

Each pod will include a full-size pillow, sheet and blanket, ear plugs, privacy curtains and special lighting designed to assist sleep. The airline are also exploring other features, including a separate reading light, USB outlets for personal devices, and a ventilation outlet.

Wach bed should be over 58 cm wide (22.8 inches) and 200 cm long (78.7 inches) long.

After the success of their economy Skycouch, which allows passengers to convert their row into a bed, Air New Zealand have high expectations the industry will adopt their latest economy product.

This looks like an amazing idea, let’s hope it will be approved and put into reality soon so we can all enjoy more comfortable long haul flights.

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