Air New Zealand Is Set to Debut the World's First Lie-Flat Economy Seats

Your next long-haul flight is about to get a lot easier

Air New Zealand SkyNest

Courtesy of Air New Zealand

Economy airline passengers who have trouble sleeping upright while flying may have finally found the solution they've been waiting for: Air New Zealand's upcoming Skynest, the world's first full-length, lie-flat sleeping pods in economy class.

New Zealand's flagship carrier announced today that it will introduce the long-awaited product in 2024, after five years of research, development, and testing. The lie-flat pods will be configured in three levels, with two sleeping pods on each level, totaling six on each aircraft—reminiscent of your favorite summer camp bunk beds, just in the sky.

Each sleeping pod, which will measure 6.5 feet long and about twenty-two inches wide, will include a privacy curtain, a pillow and full bedding, and earplugs for maximum silence. The sleeping pods, which are set to debut on the airline's incoming fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, will be an add-on that passengers can book for four hour sessions in addition to their regular economy seat.

Skynest with people

Courtesy of Air New Zealand

Economy passengers will only be able to book one sleep session per flight, limited to one passenger at a time. A booking system for the pods is in development.

"We wanted to offer our economy customers a lie-flat option, and that's how Skynest was born," said Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran. "It's going to be a real game-changer for the economy travel experience."

The carrier is also debuting a more spacious Business Premier Luxe offering that features a closing door and space for two to dine. And both economy and premium guests will be able to enjoy snacks anytime from the airline's new Sky Pantry, which will be available throughout flights—the perfect respite during long-hauls, like the airline's upcoming New York to Auckland route.

If that weren't enough, the new cabins will be fully redesigned with a fresh look inspired by the natural beauty of Aotearoa, the Maōri language name for New Zealand. From forest-inspired carpets to seats influenced by the color palette of the country's native bird, the tūī, all guests are sure to feel manaakitanga, the Maōri word for Kiwi hospitality, as soon as they walk on board.

Pricing details for the Skynest sleeping pods have not yet been released.

Article Sources
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  1. Simply Flying. "Air New Zealand's New Cabins: Everything You Need to Know." June 28, 2022.

  2. The Guardian. "Air New Zealand to Install World's First Economy Bunk Beds on Long-Haul Flights." June 28, 2022.