The SkyCouch is PR spin – nothing more than three economy seats (only slightly more than four feet long…) and a blanket and none of the other plusses of a premium experience, either on the ground or in the crowded cabin.
The salient issue here will resolve around the cost charged for the genuinely impressive PE offering; until this is explicit, it is hard to say whether this innovation is a genuine improvement for travellers; if it justs costs more then there is very little amelioration in true value.
Personally, I am not convinced by the “doesn’t recline, just slides forward” shell concept seats; several colleagues have endured Cathay in the boot, and have vowed no=ever to do so again. Poor lambs.
Notwithstanding the above, I still believe that for *most* Air New Zealand economy travellers, this will be a retrograde step.
The new economy seats are actually a whole inch narrower than on the B777-200ER, at 17″ rather than 17.8″. The usual 34″ pitch which was always a selling point of ANZ is also being reduced.
17″ width for extra-longhaul is tight by anyone’s measure.
ANZ has also slimmed down the aisles allowing it to squeeze in a 3-4-3 configuration on the new plane, as opposed to the 777-2’s 3-3-3.
It is indeed nice to see innovation, but let’s not kid ourselves that there is not a revenue maximisation motivation at the heart of this move.