Air New Zealand introduces world-first economy sleep pods for long haul flights

Jul 03, 2022
The new 'Skynests' on Air New Zealand's long-haul flight are coming in 2024. Source: Instagram @mindfoodmag

The future of air travel is here as Air New Zealand has just announced their “game changer” initiative – bookable airplane sleeping pods for economy passengers on their long-haul flights.

By 2024, the airline will become the first ever to offer passengers with regular seating the opportunity to nap in what the airline has named their “Skynest”.

Passengers travelling with the airline will be able to book a four-hour nap slot in one of the communal bunk beds and can expect to receive a “pillow, sheets, blanket and ear plugs, as well as lighting designed to be suitable for sleeping.”

Each pod mattress and sheet will also be changed by the cabin crew after every use and also features a privacy curtain, USB charging and “ventilation outlets”.


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The airline is also introducing a snack station, a business-class suite with a sliding door, new fabrics and a colour scheme that takes inspiration from the hues of the tūī—a bird native to New Zealand.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran promises passengers the new bunk-style cabins will be “a real game-changer for the economy travel experience”.

“New Zealand’s location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-long-haul travel experience. We have zeroed in on sleep, comfort and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well-rested,” Foran said.

“Whether they are heading straight into a meeting, or to their first-holiday hotspot – they want to hit the ground running.

“It’s a proud moment to finally unveil five years of hard mahi, in what truly is a cabin of possibility. One that will provide customers with options to get some shut eye wherever they’re sitting.”

In total, six “Skynest” will be installed on eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, replacing just five economy seats on each plane.

While Air New Zealand is set to resume its ultra-long-haul routes this year, such as their  New York to Auckland flights, the pods will unfortunately not be ready in time for these services.

The airline’s plan to push sleeping pods comes after Australia’s Qantas airline introduced their “wellbeing areas” for their non-stop Sydney to London flights.

The new initiative from Air New Zealand comes in hopes the extra level of comfort will encourage travellers to visit New Zealand and to improve the country’s tourism, which had been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

New Zealand has already opened up its borders to certain countries but has plans to welcome all international travellers back on Kiwi soil from July.

Would you book one of these sleeping pods for your next long-haul flight?

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