Air New Zealand is to offer flat beds in economy on its new fleet of Boeing 777-300 ER, which is being rolled out this November.
The so-called “Skycouch” is made up of three standard seats that can be changed into a single, horizontal space by removing arm rests and covering over the footwell, although the seats do not fully recline.
Dubbed “Cuddle Class”, it is being pitched at couples and families with young children. Passengers would need to buy the three seats together, and pay the full price for two economy seats and half price for the third.
The airline says the new seating will transform international air travel, creating a flexible space ideal for couples, and for those travelling with children.
“For the past three years we have been designing a new long haul experience that will reignite the passion of today’s travellers,” said Rob Fyfe, Air New Zealand’s chief executive officer. “For those who choose, the days of sitting in economy and yearning to lie down and sleep are gone.”
Fyfe also announced an overhaul of the airline’s premium economy cabin, which he claims will offer improved dining and comfort.
22 Skycouch seats will be fitted on the new aircraft, making up the first 11 rows of the economy class cabin. They will be launched on Air New Zealand’s services between Auckland and Los Angeles, and will become available on the carrier’s Los Angeles-London services from April 2011.