Air NZ's 'cuddle class' a world hit
AIR New Zealand is in talks with other airlines wanting to use its new "cuddle class" economy seats.
The airline's first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will land in Auckland on Christmas Eve, including new economy Skycouch seating, on which couples can lie down.
Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe said new premium economy Spaceseats on the aircraft would re-define that class of travel.
More than 30 airlines had been in contact with Air New Zealand and its seat manufacturers about the new seats, Fyfe said
Formal negotiations were underway with carriers from Asia, North America and Europe to license the seats after Air New Zealand had 18 months of exclusive use, he said.
"Four long years of planning and design are about to become a reality and there is a great deal of excitment within the airline about the game-changing aircraft we are about to introduce," he said.
"Few if any airlines have invested time and money in re-designing the economy experience and we've done it for both economy and premium economy."
The 338-seat aircraft, which will have 60 economy seats which can create 20 Skycouch combinations, will leave Boeing in Seattle on December 22 and fly to Auckland via Los Angeles, arriving on Christmas Eve.
A second aircraft was due for delivery in a few weeks with five on order.
The first routes for the aircraft would be on return services between Auckland, Los Angeles and on to London from April next year.
For two adults, purchasing the Skycouch will be based on buying two seats at standard prices with the third seat at approximately half price.