For flying geeks Air New Zealand has always been a winner in the style stakes and it looks like it’s just dealt another winner.
It has just introduced the Skycouch in its economy class. These are three seats reconfigured to be purchased and used by two people. The seat has been engineered to allow it to go completely flat, stretching to the seat in front (although at 4 ½ feet, it isn’t quite the same as what 6-footers might be experiencing in business class). It’s the closest that any economy class product has come to replicating the big draw of business class, the lie-flat bed.
It offers the ability for two people to sleep together (although ceo Rob Fyfe did go out of his way to say “just keep your clothes on, thanks”!) on the arduous long-haul routes into New Zealand. And all at a very affordable price – the cost for the specially adapted three seats is the fare for two economy seats plus approximately half of the third.
The specially configures ANZ 777s will have 22 of these Skycouchs – the first 11 window rows of economy on both sides of the plane. Air New Zealand will also be enhancing its other two cabins, business class and premier economy.
The first routes to be affected will be the Auckland-Los Angeles services.
Why, of why, do we have to fly all the way to New Zealand to experience an economy class which has some, errr, class?