Air New Zealand Unveils World-First ‘Skynest’ Sleep Pods, Arriving in 2024
As the travel industry continues to push through staff shortages in the post-pandemic era, Air New Zealand has some exciting news for those planning to fly in the future. Skynest ‘Sleep Pods’ are due to arrive in 2024 as part of the airline’s 787 Dreamliner fleet, bridging a gap between Economy and Premium Economy. We’ve already seen the new Business Premier Luxe seat and Business Premier seat, but now it’s time to check out the world-first Skynest sleep pods for economy travellers. It’s time to get horizontal, you beautiful, cost-efficient globetrotters!
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Skynest Sleep Pods are Coming Next Year
In an update, Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer, Leanne Geraghty, confirmed that Skynest will be launching on ultra-long-haul flights in September 2024, starting with the popular Auckland to New York and Auckland to Chicago routes.
“With our ultra-long haul routes to destinations such as New York and Chicago, Skynest provides a unique and innovative way for our passengers to rest and recharge, making their journey with us even more enjoyable. By launching Skynest on these routes, we are bringing to life our commitment to providing choice, alongside the best possible experience for our passengers, and to continue to innovate and lead the way in the aviation industry.
How Much Will Skynest Beds Cost?
Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer, Leanne Geraghty, says pricing for the Skynest will range from $400-600 for a 4-hour sleeping period. Each passenger will be limited to one session, with families travelling on the same ticket able to book a session for each passenger, pending availability.
“We’re still working through the exact details of how the booking process will work, and we have yet to determine the price. At this stage are looking at around $400 to $600 for the 4-hour period.”
Each pod will include a full-size pillow, sheets and blanket, ear plugs, a separate reading light, a personal device USB outlet, a ventilation outlet, and lighting designed for rest.
Why is Air New Zealand Investing in Bunkbeds in the Sky?
According to the airline, customer feedback over the past five years has highlighted the importance of a good night’s shut-eye alongside the need for more space and comfort. Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran says his team has responded by renewing its focus on creating an experience that leaves customers refreshed and ready to go when they arrive at their destination.
“New Zealand’s location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-long-haul travel experience,” said Foran. “We have zeroed in on sleep, comfort, and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well-rested. Whether they are heading straight into a meeting, or to their first holiday hotspot – they want to hit the ground running.”
From nose to tail, each cabin has been designed to promote a more comfortable and refreshing flying experience. Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty says the airline has done its homework on traveller needs and now plans to implement a set of innovative changes to benefit all customers.
“Research shows us the first night away from home is the hardest to get a good night’s sleep, so everything we do onboard is to help create a sense of calm – from the lighting and sleep ritual including sleepy teas and balms to the healthier food choices and breathable fabrics. Meditative onscreen content, Zentertainment, will also help customers unwind and get ready for rest.”
Our Thoughts on Skynest
As Australians and New Zealanders will know, flying to destinations such as Europe or America is a daunting prospect. However, the innovative Skynest concept will undoubtedly excite economy travellers looking to fully charge their batteries before landing. We have to give props to Air New Zealand where it’s due, they’ve also added features like care stations to Premium Economy and Economy cabins, so customers can stretch their legs, grab a bite to eat and hydrate at their leisure throughout their journey.
With sustainability in mind, they’ve even redesigned the service ware in Economy to reduce plastic dishes used in flights by 28 million every year. And the theme continues in the Business Class where they’ve used modern fabrics rather than leather. It’s estimated to save around one kilogram in weight per Business Premier and Premium Economy seat, reducing overall carbon emissions. In Premium cabins, the airline will also switch to service ware that is 20% lighter, helping reduce carbon emissions.
The eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will be arriving in 2024 and will be retrofitted in New Zealand with either eight or four Business Premier Luxe seats, 42 or 22 Business Premier, 52 or 33 Premium Economy, 125 or 213 Economy seats, and specifically on the ultra-long-haul aircraft, six Skynest sleep pods. More information about Skynest can be found at the link below.
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