Air New Zealand has announced that is to spend more than $100 million increasing the number of premium seats on its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and refurbishing its Boeing 777-300 fleet in response to customer trends.
Increasing demand for premium travel means the three Dreamliners scheduled to be delivered from October 2017 will arrive with a fresh new cabin configuration that will increase the number of Business Premier seats from 18 to 27, and Premium Economy seats from 21 to 33.
From February 2017, all seven of the airline’s B777-300s will also be progressively refurbished by November, including the installation of the Panasonic eX3 IFE system (as found on the Dreamliner fleet), and refreshed seating options.
Each of the B777-300 interiors will be completely refurbished as part of the project. The refurbished aircraft will feature refreshed Business Premier and Economy seats, as well as Air New Zealand’s luxury leather Premium Economy seat, which debuted on the 787-9 Dreamliner in July 2014. These will replace the Spaceseat and take the number of Premium Economy seats on this aircraft from 44 to 54.
Air New Zealand’s general manager of customer experience, Carrie Hurihanganui, stated that since its introduction on the Dreamliner, the new ink-colored luxury leather Premium Economy seat has become extremely popular with customers.
“When we unveiled the Spaceseat in 2010, it was revolutionary and clearly the best option in the market at the time, as a string of international awards has proven. However, seating technology and materials have come a long way since then and our customer research now shows consistently higher satisfaction scores for our newest Premium Economy offering, so it’s time to continue Air New Zealand’s evolution in this space,” Hurihanganui said.
“With these changes, we look forward to being able to offer our customers a consistent Premium Economy product across our long-haul fleet and being able to welcome even more customers into our premium cabins with the expanded premium footprint on our Dreamliners,” she added.