Air NZ unveils revamped planes

14 Jul 2005 by business traveller

Air New Zealand's new look for its long-haul fleet was unveiled this week. The airline is spending NZ$160 million (£60 million) on the relaunch which will eventually see eight 747s and eight 777s refitted with lie-flat beds, on-demand in-flight entertainment throughout the plane and a new premium economy class.

Regular flyers with Virgin Atlantic will give a nod of recognition when they see Air New Zealand's new Business Premier class. The airline has gone for 22 inch wide leather armchairs that convert into 6 foot 8 inch flat beds, arranged in a herringbone pattern, just like Virgin's. The seat includes an ottoman footrest, in-seat power and a 10.4 inch screen.

In the new Pacific Premium Economy class – the only premium economy service offered to New Zealand - there will be 23 seats, each 18.5 inches wide and with a pitch of 38 to 40 inches."With Pacific Premium Economy fares available at just 25-30% more than economy fares we have seen strong bookings, particularly for San Francisco and London, with a total of more than 7,000 sectors booked across North America and London routes," said Air New Zealand chief executive Ralph Norris.

The new planes will come into service on the Auckland - Los Angeles - London route (flights NZ1 and NZ2) from 5 November.

As part of the revamp Air New Zealand has ordered some 14,000 new salt and pepper sets and almost 650,000 items of cutlery.

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