Air New Zealand is becoming a master at self-promotion. Whether having its crew get nearly naked in the name of aircraft safety or controversially examining the behavior of ‘cougar’ women, the Auckland-based carrier knows how to grab a headline with a little sauciness (and yes, bad publicity – for better or worse – can be good publicity. Just ask Ryanair).
But Air New Zealand has trumped all prior promotional efforts with its latest endeavor. The carrier plans to offer a “Skycouch” at each of the first 11 window rows in the economy class cabins of its forthcoming Boeing 777-300ERs. These will allow passengers to enjoy a lie-flat experience (pictured above).
Read Flightblogger’s entire break-down of the new products and services that will be offered on Air New Zealand’s 777-300ERs, including what the carrier plans for premium economy. Think in-seat power, USB and iPod connectivity.
But here are some key pars from Air New Zealand about the in-flight entertainment:
Critical to the service improvements is the Panasonic eX2 in-flight entertainment touch screen system the airline has chosen, the same as it uses in its Boeing 767 and Airbus A320 fleets.
However, we’ve broken the mould here too, and in an industry first we’ve created our own suite of interactive products to help deliver the experience we’re looking for.
This includes the ability for passengers to order food and beverage items when they want outside of main meal times.
To deliver the new food experience, new oven technology will be installed in the five galleys throughout the aircraft.
It means we will be able to offer previously unheard of meal options inflight – real crispy bacon and eggs or a steak cooked anyway you like it in Business Premier, a pizza or tapas to share with your companion in Premium Economy or even a classic Kiwi toasted sandwich!”
Other technical developments include the ability to synchronise your viewing and listening IFE content to those you’re travelling with, and Flight Planner – a visual guide on the IFE that lets you know when meals will be served, when snacks and drinks will be available for order and timings for when the lights will be dimmed and other activity is timed to take place.
Could this change long-haul travel as we know it? Damn, I hope so!