Air New Zealand in September 2024 plans to introduce its Skynest full-length sleeping pods, announced last year, on its ultra-long-haul routes, starting with two destinations in the United States: New York and Chicago, the carrier announced on Tuesday (9 May).
Skynest will include a six-pod configured sleep zone located between premium economy and economy classes, and will include a full-size pillow, sheets and blanket, ear plugs, a separate reading light and a USB outlet.
Each passenger will be limited to one four-hour session. The lights will "gently come on" at the end of each session, and crew will wake any passengers who sleep through that. Each pod will get new bedding between sessions with a turnover time of about 30 minutes.
"We're still working through the exact details of how the booking process will work, and we have yet to determine the price," Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty said in a statement. "At this stage [we] are looking at around $400 to $600 for the four-hour period."
Fleet investment and capacity update
The carrier also is making a $3.5 billion investment in fleet, which includes the purchase of eight new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, five Airbus A320neo aircraft, and the interior refurbishment of its 14 Boeing 787 aircraft, which will include the airline's new cabins. Work is expected to begin next year.
Air New Zealand also is the "final negotiations" to acquire another Boeing 777-300ER, which could add 3,000 more seats per week to the airline's international network and would bring the carrier's total 777-300 aircraft fleet to eight.
In addition, Air New Zealand's international capacity is at about 91 per cent of the pre-Covid level, and "bookings are steady."
Its North American network capacity is close to fully recovered, and its Asia network capacity is at 117 per cent of pre-Covid levels. Domestic network capacity also is back to pre-Covid levels, according to the carrier.