It’s perhaps worth clarifying that Air New Zealand will be moving to ten-abreast in Y on these new aircraft (from the current nine on their existing 777s), with a seat pitch an inch less than that enjoyed by Pacific Economy passengers on their current 744s (though an inch more than their 777s).
For the up to 180 Y passengers who are not seated on Skycouches therefore, and for those who are seated in Skycouch seats but who have not paid the supplement, this is arguably a significantly retrograde development in terms of personal space.
The increased space-take of PE has got to be paid back from somewhere – and that’s Y pitch and width in this case.
The upgrades to IFE screens, connectivity etc in Y will mitigate the impact somewhat, of course – but NZ’s Y seat pitch has long been the foundation of much of its leisure-market communications, so a new promotional strategy will be required. Perhaps, of course, it’s hoped that the noise created by Skycouch will take up the space once occupied by the 34″ message.