VK: Well if any airline didn’t engage in revenue maximisation it would be failing to fit its true purpose. After all what are LCCs about, what is the demise of UK domestic business class about and why do both BA and VS have long haul economy class seat pitch that makes NZ look generous?
Do you expect economy class to be anything other than economy? What other carrier in economy class offers anything remotely similar for couples to have a small flat surface to lie across? Yes I’m first to criticise NZ for going 3-4-3 in a 777, but we are talking less than an inch in width. BA, VS, UA, LH and indeed most major carriers in economy have seat pitch in long haul the same as they have for short haul. Only some Asian carriers can rival NZ in economy.
In premium economy NZ is only outshone by BMI, which will soon be giving up the A330s. NZ’s premium economy catering already outshines all others by a mile (BA gives the vile economy food and VS barely better). 2-2-2 beats 2-4-2 on BA in 777s anyday.
Hard shells that seats recline within are a feature of virtually all business and first class products today, can’t quite see why it is a problem in premium economy.
The catering will be leaps and bounds ahead of all others in business premier, only rivalled by Austrian, which has an inferior hard product. Freshly cooked food outdoes the reheating we see in others.
So yes, NZ has successfully created a lot of spin. Every airline does for new products. AA’s new business class was running to catch up with the middle of the pack, and BA’s new First is a great enhancement but by no means seriously rivals SQ, CX, EK (A380), EY or LX.
I’m unhappy NZ is squeezing in another in Y, but then who besides those of us who follow this sort of thing avidly, knows or bothers? Neither VS nor BA have seen any advantage in increasing seat pitch in economy, because most economy travellers care about price, and then have an impression of how good or bad airline service is (although IFE matters). Airlines rarely sell economy class on seat pitch and width, and only a small number of customers bother researching or give a damn. Those in the front cabins are different, because quality of product is at least as important. Those customers make tradeoffs on fare and quality. What NZ has done is give this option to couples in economy as well.