26 february 2020 –
Air New Zealand unveils ‘Skynest’ economy class lie-flat beds concept
Air New Zealand Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Mike Tod says that as the airline operates some of the world’s longest flights, such as the upcoming Auckland-New York service at up to 17 hours 40 minutes one way, it is committed to putting more comfort into flying.
“We have a tremendous amount of development work underway looking at product innovations we can bring across all cabins of the aircraft,” said Tod
“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.”
Air New Zealand will make a final decision on whether to operate the Economy Skynest next year after it has assessed the performance of its inaugural year of Auckland-New York operations.
The exact positioning of the Economy Skynest within the aircraft has still to be confirmed, however, it will be in the economy cabin. The pods, which will be in excess of 200cm in length and over 58cm in width, will include a full-size pillow, sheets and blanket, ear plugs along with privacy curtains and lighting designed for sleep.
Other features such as separate reading light, personal device USB outlet and ventilation outlet, are being looked at.
When asked about the pricing of the product, a spokesperson for the airline said: “We have yet to determine the costs and are still assessing the commercial proposition and viability of this product.”
Also, the airline said that children won’t be allowed to use the new pods: “The Skynest is designed to be used by adults with each pod for one person.”
Commentators on social media have been full of praise for the idea.
“YES!!!! I can never sleep in normal seats, it’s exhausting! Take my money,” said one.
“That would be a kiwi dream come true!” wrote one commentator.
“Cool photo, looks like a backpackers up in the air,” was another.
Although, some said there may be drawbacks: “Sounds good as long as doesn’t include a snorer.”
The Skynest follows Air New Zealand’s previous economy class innovation, the Skycouch launched in 2011.
Nicknamed “cuddle class”, the design consists of a row of three economy seats that convert into a “couch” through folding the armrests and raising the padded footrests into a position parallel to the seat.
Designed for couples and families, the Skycouch requires the purchase of three seats but a couple can buy the extra seat at a 50 per cent discount.
24 January 2020 – Novel coronavirus
The Australian Government’s Smartraveller website has issued new advice on the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The official advice is as follows:
- There is an active outbreak of a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China, originating from the Wuhan region. There have been reports of individuals with the novel coronavirus outside of China.
- This new type of coronavirus was initially linked to a large seafood and live animal market in Wuhan City, in China’s Hubei Province. The majority of reported cases are in the Wuhan region.
- The World Health Organisation is closely monitoring the situation. As the situation in Wuhan is rapidly evolving and information about the new coronavirus is still limited, it is recommended that you exercise a high degree of caution if you are travelling to Wuhan.
- Screening procedures have commenced at airports in Australia and in China’s Hubei province, where the virus was discovered in the city of Wuhan.
- Authorities in Wuhan have also announced that all outbound rail, long-distance bus, air, and ferry travel from the city will be prohibited indefinitely from 23 January.
- Additionally, all public transportation within the city, including buses and subways, will be closed indefinitely. Significant transport and business disruptions likely.
For the latest information please visit the Smartraveller website.
22 JAN 2020 – Air NZ’s new 2020 Auckland-New York flights
The new service will be the first non-stop link between Australasia and New York.
Air New Zealand will operate three return services a week between Auckland and Newark Liberty International Airport using its latest configuration Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from 29 October 2020. Flight time is expected to be 15 hours 40 minutes northbound and 17 hours 40 minutes southbound.
Fares are available now and customers can book flights between Auckland and New York through to 4 January 2021.