Economy-class travelers may finally get the in-flight sleep they’ve been dreaming of thanks to a new lie-flat prototype sleep product recently unveiled by Air New Zealand.
The Economy Skynest, which provides six full-length, lie-flat sleep pods, will make its debut on the airline’s 17-hour, 40-minute flight from Auckland (AKL) to Newark (EWR). Air New Zealand will assess the product’s performance for a year before determining future plans for expansion to other long-haul flights and licensing opportunities with other airlines.
“We have a tremendous amount of development work underway looking at product innovations we can bring across all cabins of the aircraft,” said Mike Tod, chief marketing and customer officer, Air New Zealand. “A clear pain point for economy travelers on long-haul flights is the inability to stretch out. The development of the Skynest is a direct response to that challenge.
”The Economy Skynest is the result of three years of Air New Zealand research and development, with the input of more than 200 customers at its Hangar 22 innovation canter in Auckland.”
While the scale of the project is immense, Kerry Reeves, head of airline programmes, believes this product’s undertaking encapsulates the company’s ability to innovate and try new things that benefit customers.
“But it was a prize worth chasing and one that we think has the potential to be a game changer for economy class travelers on all airlines around the world,” said Reeves.
For the next several weeks, we are compiling the thoughts and experiences of our staff, writers and readers about the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As a travel publication, we’ve all been affected during these difficult times, as have many of our clients, friends, partners and more.
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