Air New Zealand has not yet decided when it will relinquish exclusivity of its highly acclaimed Skycouch economy class seat and premium economy Spaceseat so that other carriers can adopt the products.

Debuted on Air New Zealand's new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, the Skycouch - offered in the first 11 rows of the economy cabin - folds out to provide a space for kids to play or for two adults to sleep in a flat position.

"The product is doing very well and meeting all its targets," said Air New Zealand general manager of marketing and communications Mike Tod.

The Spaceseat, meanwhile, is distinguished among other things by its hard shell so a passenger cannot recline into the personal space of the passenger behind him or her. Legroom was recently improved with the removal of a row of seats, The Business Traveller reported in May.

Both the Skycouch and Spaceseat, which were designed by Air New Zealand, have been licensed to manufacturers Recaro and Contour respectively and, as such, have the potential to generate license fees for Air New Zealand in the future.

However, an Air New Zealand spokesperson tells ATI and Flightglobal that while the carrier still intends to enable other airlines to license the Skycouch and Spaceseat, it does not have "a defined timeframe for when we will relinquish our exclusivity".

Overall, the customer feedback on the new long-haul product "has been outstanding", notes Tod.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news