AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Air New Zealand has unveiled sleeping pods for longhaul economy passengers, calling it “a game changer”.
The Economy Skynest, which would provide six full length lie-flat sleeping spaces, is the result of three years of research and development, the airline said Wednesday.
The company has filed patent and trademark applications for the Skynest.
Air New Zealand plans to make Skynest available on longhaul flights, but the airline said a decision will only be made after it assesses the success of the upcoming Auckland-New York service. That flight would take 17 hours and 40 minutes.
“We have a tremendous amount of development work underway looking at product innovations we can bring across all cabins of the aircraft,” said chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod.
“A clear pain point for economy travelers on longhaul flights is the inability to stretch out. The development of the Economy Skynest is a direct response to that challenge.”
Customer and cabin crew feedback on the Skynest during its final phase of development has been outstanding, said Nikki Goodman, general manager of customer experience.
“We see a future flying experience where an economy-class customer on longhaul 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,” said Goodman.
All images are courtesy of Air New Zealand.