A revolution looms in the air. Air New Zealand will install bunk beds in its economy class for its long-haul flights. The world’s first, report SimplyFly and the guardian. Concretely, by 2024, Premium and Economy passengers will still be sold conventional seats, but they will be able to book four-hour sessions in sleeper cabins, dubbed “Skynest” — at an additional cost.
The ‘pods’ will contain a mattress and covers – which will be changed by cabin crew after each booking – and will be stacked on top of each other to take advantage of cabin height. Each ‘pod’ will have a curtain, USB socket, and ‘air outlets’. To allow these six beds to be combined, five economy-class seats will be removed from the eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners that Air New Zealand will acquire from the end of 2024.
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A spokeswoman for Air New Zealand told the Guardian that while the cost of booking a four-hour session in a family had yet to be determined, it would only be open to regular passengers and economy class. Passengers will only be able to book one session per flight, as demand for the economy cabin (over 200 seats) is expected to rise. Sleeping capsules will be limited to one person at a time. The airline is said to be developing a reservation system.
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However, these “pods” will not be available for the extra-long 5pm flights that the company will launch between Auckland and New York, starting next September. Due to New Zealand’s geographic location, the company has made the sleep, comfort and well-being of its passengers a new priority. “We know how important it is for our customers to have access in complete comfort. Whether they are heading straight to a meeting or their vacation spot, they want to be ready for action right away,” said Greg Foran, General Manager, Air New Zealand.
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