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Air New Zealand Reveals Innovative ‘Economy Skynest’ Sleep Pod Concept

Air New Zealand unveiled on Wednesday an innovative sleep pod concept for economy customers on long-haul flights. Three years in development, the carrier’s ‘Economy Skynest’ has bunks that can accommodate six passengers.

Air New Zealand's Economy Skynest Prototype - Courtesy Air New Zealand

Today, Air New Zealand announced the development of an innovative new sleep concept for economy passengers on ultra-long-haul flights. Three years in development, the Economy Skynest can accommodate up to six passengers at a time and would be booked as an ancillary service in addition to the guest’s regular seat. The development of the Economy Skynest included the input from over 200 customers and took place at Air New Zealand’s Hangar 22 innovation center in Auckland. The carrier has filed patents and trademarks for the Economy Skynest which has six full length lie-flat sleep pods. In Wednesday’s announcement, Air New Zealand’s Chief Marketing and Customer Officer, Mike Tod said,

“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.”

The Economy Skynest has been designed especially for ultra-long-haul flights, such as Air New Zealand’s upcoming Auckland-New York service, a 17 hour and 40 minute flight. The carrier will evaluate the concept during the inaugural season of the route and make a final decision on the deployment of the product next year. Also commenting on the Economy Skynest, Air New Zealand’s Manager of Customer experience, Nikki Goodman added,

“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. This is a game changer on so many levels. We’re so excited to be sharing this product development with our customers. This is one of the highlights of three years’ intensive work centred on customer well-being. We’re sure this innovation is going to be a game changer for the industry and bring significant improvements to long-haul flying. We expect other airlines will want to explore licensing the Economy Skynest from us just as they have with Economy Skycouch.”

Air New Zealand’s Head of Airline Programmes, Kerry Reeves, further explained that the challenges associated with the development and certification of the Economy Skynest have been immense, but the product was a “prize worth chasing.” Placement of the product on the aircraft has yet to be determined, but it will be somewhere in the Economy Class cabin. The Economy Skynest will accommodate six sleeping pods which will be at least 200cm long and have a shoulder width of at least 58cm. Each pod will be equipped with a full-size pillow, sheets and a blanket, earplugs, privacy curtains and lighting designed for sleep. Other features such as a USB port, reading light and ventilation outlet are also under consideration.

"Talent in the video includes (in order of appearance): Air New Zealand General Manager Brand and Content Marketing, Jodi Williams; Air New Zealand General Manage Customer Experience Nikki Goodman; Air New Zealand Head of Airline Programmes Kerry Reeves; Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran and Air New Zealand Industrial Designers Kate Cameron-Donald and Zoe Wenn."

Source: Air New Zealand


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