Air NZ to fly 787 Sydney to AKL

Back to Forum

This topic contains 28 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  MrMichael 25 Aug 2014
at 19:40

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)

  • Anonymous


    Be very interesting to see their version inside , and short enough flight of 3 hrs to see how the crews and fellow passengers go within it.

    Where did the link go???


    I wonder if there will be any complains from passengers ?

    After all, NZ’s 787-9 features denser seating for Economy and Premium Economy passengers than in its 777-300ER.

    For example, Premium Economy is six-across on the 777-300ER with 42 ins of seat pitch yet, on the 787-9 which has a narrower cabin, has more seats abreast and less pitch too. The 787-9 seating is of a more conventional design.

    And, eventually, the 787-9 will operate on long-haul routes too.


    I reckon it will only be Premium Economy that the difference will be noticeable. I think their 777-300’s are ten abreast? Must be comparative in personal space to the nine abreast on the 787.

    I think they also use the narrow body A320 between SYD and AKL regularly with a pretty tight pitch and no Premium Economy or ‘proper’ Business Class. So a 787-900 has to be a step up from that 🙂


    Hello rferguson

    Good point. NZ’s 777-300ERs are indeed 10-across in Economy. But Premium Economy is seven-across on the 787-9 as against six across (with more legroom too) on the 777-300ER.


    Hi Alex,

    Yes it seems Air NZ’s Premium Economy has become quite varied! The 777-300 has the cool and innovative ‘space seat’ in a 2x2x2 config, the 777-200’s have a conventional design at a pretty disappointing 3x3x3 which at nine abreast is exactly the same as Economy class. And the 787-900 2x3x2 again in a conventional design but at least with a wider seat in addition to the increased legroom. I wonder why they didn’t continue with the space seat on the 787-900 in Premium Economy? It seemed to get pretty great reviews and looked best in class. Not flown in it so not sure if it’s comfortable but certainly looks more J minus than Y plus! 🙂


    Both NZ and Qantas have been pretty explicit that PE works mainly to the US/UK, and that’s where passengers are most willing to pay a premium, so isn’t it right that’s where the best product is focussed? If passengers travelling to Asia won’t pay much extra for the privilege, then it doesn’t really make sense to waste Spaceseats on them…


    In truth I do believe that the Spaceseat was a product of former CEO Bob Fyfe.

    Now that he has left the company I feel we will see a more conventional Premium Economy from NZ. I wonder that will replace the Spaceseat, perhaps even the Skycouch (depending on how successful it is) when it becomes life-expired.

    And I agree with rferguson that Premium Economy on NZ’s 777-200 at 3-3-3 offers little advantage over normal economy which also remains 3-3-3.

    These planes are supposed to be refurbished with new seats etc this year. I believe they will not feature the Spaceseat and instead they will offer the same Premium Economy seat as the 787-9.

    The plan is to retrofit the 777-200s with the same business and economy classes as found on the 777-300ER.

    And NZ’s current CEO, Chris Luxon, has indicated that the 777-200s will operate to both Asia and the USA.


    Once a week friday, Air NZ were running the 773 with the space seat from AKL-SYD return on a friday.
    I took this in March.
    The space seats were terrific, and we paid the price economy with the lot so lounge eats, and got premium economy. Not sure if that is still running, but i thought the best PE in the world i have seen. I have to say they needed a good cleaning which we pointed out to the Purser who said this was really becoming a problem, stained coffee, bit of food tray table drips etc.
    he gave us vouchers and agreed this had been a worsening problem.

    But this is now set to give them a practice run for the flight to Perth for starters?

    I am still not convinced with the reliability of the dreamliner, and its safety record. I also prefer a lager aircraft for long haul, better sense of space and ability to have a walk around. So the 787 would not be one of my choices for long haul at the moment.

    But Air NZ are excellent and their hospitality food is impeccable and they are hard working professional and good humoured.

    They do run old 767’s on SYD-AKL daily, with the old cradle but good service ok seat for a med short haul flight. They do also run a few A320’s buy it varies by day, and in partnership with Virgin and Etihad, Virgin Australia one a day with a 737. So you can have PE, Business depends on which flights on which day but they do have business proper each day.

    But they are also up against a daily A380 from EK, that is always full and popular. 4-6pm, Auckland is full of 777’s and A380’s going to Oz cities then onto DXB! They have taken much of the business off Air NZ.


    The 777-300ER Spaceseats are simply not viable to install on any other aircraft. They weigh too much, their footprint is too large (a row was taken out a couple of months after installation because the pitch was miscalculated) and except on the US/LHR routes insufficient premium can be charged to make up for this. Even the 777-200ERs are getting refurbished with the seats now seen on the 787.

    Let’s be clear, the 787s are replacing the 767s, which have no premium economy product and have an old fashioned cradle seat business class, so they are a significant step up in those classes, although in economy it will be like every other airline with a 3-3-3 configuration (except the Japanese ones, and even they are moving
    from 2-4-2 to 3-3-3).

    There will still be A320 and 777 flights between AKL and SYD. The A320s do have two pitch products as around one-third of the cabin is in “Space +” configuration for those with NZ and *A Gold status and above with 4-6 inches more pitch than the rest of the cabin, making it the most spacious economy class (exc, exit rows) on Air NZ. The reason is the intense competition with Qantas/Emirates on the Tasman for regular business traffic. NZ and *A Gold status holders can select seats in the premium economy cabins on the 777s now on Tasman flights (premium economy isn’t sold on the services to/from SYD, MEL, BNE) and will be able to do the same on the 787 operated services.


    Maybe in Air NZ’s case the space seat was such a good product it may have taken some of it’s own ‘premium business’ traffic. I had a look at some old threads on flyertalk and quite a few people were saying that when flying on the 777-300 they were happy to fly Premium Economy when they used to plump for Business class.

    I guess in terms or Premium Economy not being viable on routes other than UK/USA I think this is more down to unfamiliarity with the product in other regions. I saw on Australian Business Traveller a Qantas rep saying that despite refurbishing their A330’s that ply the Oz-Asia routes they had no plans to fit Premium Economy as the demand isn’t there. I think it will be there eventually. It wasn’t that long ago that Cathay Pacific became the first of the big asian airlines to offer Premium Economy. And the mighty Singapore Airlines will follow suit soon. I think in time more and more asian (and eventually middle eastern) airlines will offer Premium Economy otherwise they will not be competitive with their regional rivals. Especially as First Class is shrinking even in asia and the mid east. Australia to Asia sector lengths are similar to europe to east coast US and there is a huge demand for Premium Economy there. It’s a bit like the low cost airline revolution. Asia and Australia were much later to the party than europe or the US but now there are some formidable loco’s in the region – Jetstar and Air Asia for example.


    Remember that NZ’s space seats do not face fully forward, but are angled towards the windows. I would assume that given the angling, it would not be possible to fit these seats on the aircraft in a 2-2-2 config on a narrower 787 (in addition to the aforementioned reasons regarding weight). Also due to the fixed back design of the space seat they take up far more space than traditional recliner PE seats (again, as mentioned above). The space seats are widely praised but for tall passengers the lack of legroom can be an issue, the quoted seat pitch reduces dramatically as the seat slides forward to recline.

    So long as NZ maintain their high standards, I would imagine this premium economy will also receive generally good reviews. It will also be a welcome improvement, given the 787s replace 767 or older 772 aircraft, with no / not as good PE seats respectively.


    I disagree that 1st class is lessening in demand in The Middle East or Asia. It maybe on what the European Carriers offer, But not on the Middle East or in Asia.
    Etihad’s plans (based on a Hotel guest philosophy) for Business Studios, First Class Apartments


    .Posts are cutting off on this thread only a few lines and no more …can you fix please?

    Tom Otley

    I’m sorry you’re having this trouble.
    Could you let us know what device you are using?
    Most times it is an iPad which causes the problems – I’ve done a few tests and PCs / laptops seem to have no problem.
    Thank you

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription

To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below